In a historic move in American politics, Rachel Levine has now been confirmed as assistant health secretary.
The news comes after the transgender nominee underwent a battle for the position in which she received a lot of backlash.
But still, she managed to push through and came out victorious on the other end. This is a historic win for the LGBTQ+ community as Levine has now become the highest-ranking trans official in history.
Keep scrolling for all the other details.
Now, President Biden has thrown himself into his new role with gusto.
Months after his move to the White House, the newly-elected president has been busy dismantling a whole array of controversial Trump-era regulations.
Mere hours after his inauguration ceremony, Biden fulfilled one of his top campaign promises by pledging to put the U.S. back in the Paris Agreement on climate change - an international pact aimed at curbing emissions that cause global warming.
Trump famously withdrew from the agreement in 2017, citing costs to American taxpayers.
And as for the country's ongoing racial division?
Well, Biden has already got to work on putting the pieces back together.
He first signed an executive order to promote racial equity.
Biden ordered his government to conduct equity assessments of its agencies and reallocate resources to "advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality."
He then reversed Trump's infamous ban on U.S. entry from majority-Muslim countries.
Biden's proclamation reversed Trump's policy that barred entry to the U.S. for refugees and residents from 7 predominantly Muslim countries and orders plans within forty-five days for resuming visa processing.
Now, these are all positive steps in the right direction...
And his latest move has been a historic win for the LGBTQ+ community.
It's no secret that Biden has been trying to diversify his cabinet ever since he was projected to be president back in November.
With more official roles than ever given to Black and Non-Black People Of Color as well as other minority groups, we have seen some dramatic changes in the White House since the last government.
But one of his most notable selections has been none other than Rachel Levine.
Levine is the first openly transgender nominee to have ever been awarded a position in the cabinet, let alone such a high-ranking one such as assistant health secretary.
And the position couldn't have gone to a more deserving candidate.
Levine, who was previously Pennsylvania's Health Secretary, is more than qualified to take on such a demanding position.
She is a graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School and has been working as secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she was leading the state's fight against COVID-19.
Not only that but she is also the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and has previously written on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ+ medicine.
A statement that was released before her confirmation read:
Today I joined @GovernorTomWolf and @PennStHershey to thank health care professionals and staff for their extraordinary efforts to protect Pennsylvanians during #COVID19. THANK YOU to all health care workers for all you do to make our commonwealth a healthy Pennsylvania for all. pic.twitter.com/wB4C4lkdDv— Dr. Rachel Levine (@SecretaryLevine) June 24, 2020
"President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services."
"Dr. Levine currently serves as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is leading the state's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A deeply experienced and effective public servant and public health expert, Dr. Levine was confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania state senate to serve as Secretary of Health and the state's physician general. She is poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate."
Biden also added this:
"Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond."
"She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts."
And a few months later, the news has finally been confirmed: Rachel Levine is now our assistant health secretary.
Of course, as it was announced, kind messages poured in...
As hundreds of thousands of trans and non-binary children watch as Republican elected officials across the country attack their humanity for political gain, they can take a small measure of comfort in witnessing Dr. Rachel Levine make history. I'm very happy in this moment.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 24, 2021
Amid an onslaught of violent rhetoric against trans people, Dr. Rachel Levine’s HHS nomination has advanced past Senate committee. May her confirmation offer hope to trans youth who see their existence repeatedly maligned. May her knowledge cut through noise from know-nothings.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 19, 2021
Sending my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Rachel Levine.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 24, 2021
I couldn’t be prouder of all she’s done to serve Pennsylvanians — including her tireless work during the pandemic.
The nation is lucky to have her strength, experience, and compassion in this key role. https://t.co/6ezfjjK2Fj
Congratulations to Rachel Levine on her historic confirmation! pic.twitter.com/d64u0AqWKw— United for the People (@people4kam) March 25, 2021
One of the supposed "concerns" my dad expressed after I came out as a proud #TransWoman, was that "I would never be able to get a good job."— Abby Stein (@AbbyChavaStein) March 25, 2021
I proved him wrong. and Dr. #RachelLevine proved today to so many of us that you can get whatever job you want 🏳️⚧️
The news comes after the Senate voted fifty-two to forty-eight in favor of the historic move.
All Democrats and independents voted to support Levine, with Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski also joining them which promoted further cheers from fans who called it a "breakthrough."
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said this in a statement:
History made: Dr. Rachel Levine was just confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary for Health, becoming the first-ever openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 24, 2021
Trans people are leaders, innovators and change-makers — and we deserve a seat at every table. pic.twitter.com/bNotSqaWDu
"With the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine, we are one step closer to a government that mirrors the beautiful diversity of its people."
After her win, Dr. Rachel Levine also made a statement in which she addresses the trans youth.
"...In particular, I want to address transgender youth. I know that each and every day you confront many difficult challenges. Sadly, some of the challenges you face are from people who would seek to use your identity and circumstance as a weapon."
"It hurts. I know. I cannot promise you that these attacks will immediately cease, but I will do everything I can to support you and advocate for you. President Obama often reminded us that not all progress goes in a straight line."
She also added this:
"What I can tell you is that there is a place for you in America and in our government. Our 'more perfect union' includes you, too."
Read her full statement here as per the New York Times.
Senate confirms Dr. Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary of Health, 52-48.— The Recount (@therecount) March 24, 2021
She is the first trans person to ever be confirmed by the Senate. pic.twitter.com/fkmdbUbdYi
Congratulations Dr. Rachel Levine, we're excited to see what you're going to do for us all.
In the meantime, keep scrolling for more news...