As the Daily Wire reported last week, “Dr. Rachel Levine became the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, making Levine the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate.”
“Levine was confirmed 52-48 largely along party lines, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) defecting,” the Daily Wire report continued.
The assistant secretary for health serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services’ primary advisor on matters of public health. Given the responsibility of such a role, this raises the serious and important question many are tip-toeing around under the spotlight of political correctness: is Rachel Levine qualified?
Rachel Levine is an American pediatrician who previously served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine.
The brutal fact is that Levine’s transgender identity would be irrelevant if their government role was not directly associated with that of public health. If Levine was nominated or confirmed as, for example, an official in the Department of Transportation or Energy, their gender identity would be utterly unimportant.
In addition, it’s important to note that Levine’s resume — having graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine and completing a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in adolescent medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, New York — while undeniably impressive in an academic sense, is also irrelevant when it comes to this central point, which must be acknowledged: Levine’s identity as a transgender woman means that their objectivity on the subject of transgenderism in children is questionable at best, and completely non-existent at worst.
The medical objectivity of those who work in the private sector is less important than those who work in the public sector, because private figures are making less impactful decisions regarding the entirety of society. As the primary advisor on matters of public health, however, Levine’s personal beliefs could impact health care policy on a national level. With this in mind, questioning every element of Levine’s background becomes crucial, as the health of our nation is at stake. Specifically, the health of children who believe — or whose parents believe — they are transgender is at stake.
During Levine’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) pressed Levine on the subject of sex changes for minors, whether in the form of drugs or surgery.
“Dr. Levine, you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia,” Paul stated. In response to Paul’s question regarding whether minors are capable of making such a life-altering decision, Levine appeared to dodge the question.
“Well, senator, thank you for your interest in this question,” Levine responded. “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I will look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”
If Levine had clearly answered Paul’s question regarding the use of such treatments on minors, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The fact that Levine repeatedly refused to answer a question on such an impactful topic entirely justifies the concern raised by Paul, as well as by others.
While some will claim that such questions are rooted in transphobia, such as The Cut’s “Rachel Levine Faced a Transphobic Tirade During Her Confirmation Hearing,” there is nothing transphobic or bigoted about asking questions which are directly relevant to matters of public health when the person being questioned will be helping to form any and all related policies.
To be more specific, there is nothing transphobic about the rejection of Levine’s “buy now, ask questions later” response on the subject of irreversible medical treatment performed on vulnerable children, when the only remaining evidence of Levine’s opinion is demonstrated by their lifestyle choices.
Too late now, of course.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.