This is a “historic” first: Joe Biden announced this Tuesday, January 19, on the eve of his inauguration, who appointed Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, Vice Minister of Health. This decision marks a clear contrast with the measures considered discriminatory by Donald Trump.
According to the president-elect, the 64-year-old pediatrician, currently director of health for the state of Pennsylvania, “bring the strong leadership and crucial expertise we need to guide people through this pandemic, no matter where they are from, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. “
The Democrat, who will become the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, was the first American president-elect to include transgender people in his thanks, during his victory speech last November. “I am proud of the largest and most diverse coalition we have formed together in history. Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressives, Moderates and Conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight and transgender. White, Latino, Asian, Native American and African American, ”he declared on November 7 at his Wilmington stronghold.
The top transgender official in the U.S. federal government.
Rachel Levine, also a university professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, “is about to be the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate, “Joe Biden’s team said. She would later become the top transgender official in the US federal government.
Democrats will take control of the upper house this week, which must confirm the presidential appointments. Joe Biden’s team specifies that Rachel Levine has already been confirmed “three times” in her position by the Pennsylvania Senate., then controlled by Republicans. Previously, she was the co-chair of the pediatrics department at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and was also responsible for its division of adolescent medicine.
A decision that contrasts with Trump’s policies
This appointment only widens the gap between the policies of Joe Biden and his predecessor. On the other hand, Donald Trump had taken several controversial measures with regard to transgender people during his tenure. The Republican announced in 2017 his decision to ban them from serving in the military., citing the “burden of huge medical costs” and “disruption.”
In early 2018, the Pentagon finally allowed transgender people to enlist who had not changed their sex and had no intention of doing so. on one condition, however, and no less important: serving under your biological sex. Later, the federal courts suspended this new policy, considering it “similar” to the previous one. There are an estimated 1,320-15,000 transgender people in the United States military, out of a total of 1.3 million active duty military personnel.