Twitter locked the account of Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) after he called Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine, who identifies as transgender, a “man.”
Banks’ Twitter account was locked sometime after he referred to Levine as a “man” in an October 18 tweet.
“Twitter has censored @RepJimBanks for calling HHS’ Rachel Levine a man. He will be locked out of his account until he deletes the tweet, ‘The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,’” Daily Signal reporter Mary Margaret Olohan tweeted on Saturday.
NEW: Twitter has censored @RepJimBanks for calling HHS' Rachel Levine a man. He will be locked out of his account until he deletes the tweet, "The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man." pic.twitter.com/6wdDqJ36kH
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) October 23, 2021
The tweet in question appeared to have been removed from Banks’ account by Sunday afternoon. Another tweet bashing Levine, who was named the “first-ever female four-star admiral’ of the U.S. Public Health Services (USPHS) Commissioned Corps on Tuesday, and the Biden administration is still active.
“Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day,” Banks tweeted on October 19.
Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first "female" four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day. https://t.co/bHKmJbE6cA
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) October 19, 2021
President Joe Biden’s administration named Levine, 63, the “first-ever female four-star admiral” of the USPHS Commissioned Corps last week in a statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Levine, formerly known as Richard Levine, completed gender reassignment surgery in 2013.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publicly announced today the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the eight uniformed services of the United States,” HHS said in a Tuesday press release. “Admiral Rachel Levine, who serves as the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, was ceremonially sworn in as a four-star admiral.”
“Admiral Levine now serves as the highest ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral. Admiral Levine will lead 6,000 Public Health Service officers who are dedicated to serving our nation’s most underserved and vulnerable populations,” HHS continued. “Today’s historic announcement builds on the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ History Month and is a major step forward as we work to create a more inclusive society.”
Levine was sworn in as admiral of the USPHS Commissioned Corps on Tuesday.
“This is a momentous occasion,” Levine said in remarks after the swearing in. “And I am honored to take this role, for the impact that I can make and for the historic nature of what it symbolizes.”
“I stand on the shoulders of those LGBTQ+ individuals who came before me, both those known and unknown,” Levine said. “May this appointment today be the first of many more to come, as we create a diverse and more inclusive future.”
“Diversity makes us stronger,” the secretary continued. “Each person has a different perspective and different strengths that they bring to make the whole community stronger. The time is now for our country to continue to move the bar forward for diversity. And I am proud to wear this uniform and answer that call.”