The Assistant Secretary of Health of the United States was sworn in as the first four-star transgender officer in the country’s history.
Dr. Rachel Levine, 63, is now an Admiral of the United States Public Health Service Corps.
Dr. Levine, appointed by President Joe Biden, is already the highest openly transgender official in the United States.
He described the occasion as “memorable” and “historic” during a swearing-in speech Tuesday.
“May this date today be the first of many to come as we create a different and more inclusive future,” she said in a speech that paid tribute to other LGBTQ people who have come before her.
Dr. Levine is a graduate of Harvard College and Tulane University School of Medicine and previously worked as a pediatrician.
The U.S. Public Health Service Corps has approximately 6,000 uniformed officers and is tasked with responding to health crises like the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.
Health Secretary Xavier Becerra described Dr. Levine’s appointment as a “giant step towards equality as a nation”.
He has also served as a Pennsylvania general practitioner and state health secretary, working on issues such as responding to widespread opiate addiction.
Dr. Levine was confirmed as an assistant to the United States Secretary of Health in a Senate vote of 52-48 in March.
During the confirmation process, the nominee faced questions about her handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes during her time as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health.
Critics blamed the deaths of many older people of a state policy that required nursing homes to accept Covid patients.
Shortly after the implementation of that measure, Dr. Levine acknowledged that she had moved her mother from a nursing home as cases of the virus increased.
Read More about World News here.
This Article is Sourced from BBC News. You can check the original article here: Source