Hundreds of Organizations (Including Several Based in Erie) Back Dr. Rachel Levine's Nomination to be Assistant Secretary of Health
More than 350 groups have signed a letter in support of President Biden's nominee.
Following the historic nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine by the Biden Administration for Assistant Secretary of Health, hundreds of organizations across the United States, including several based in Erie, have joined together to urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm her to this position.
More than 350 organizations from 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, led by the National LGBT Cancer Network, Fenway Health, and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have signed a letter detailing Dr. Levine's impeccable credentials and preparedness to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health. Additionally, Dr. Levine would make history as the first transgender person ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The letter touts her as "the best possible candidate." To view the full letter, visit bit.ly/LevineSupportLetter.
Many Erie area LGBT organizations, including Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie County Democratic Party LGBTQIA+ Caucus, Pennsylvania Equality Project, and Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, have been extremely impressed with Dr. Levine's calm and compassionate handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and other helth issues, and are thrilled to support her becoming part of the Biden administration to support our country.
Dr. Levine is the current Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). She previously served as Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She has been confirmed, with overwhelming bipartisan support, three times by the Pennsylvania State Senate, and she has managed Pennsylvania's response to the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Biden-Harris Administration has appointed the most diverse group of experts to lead government agencies in history," said Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute. "As Secretary of Health for the sixth most populous state in the country, Dr. Levine routinely works with the U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Health's office building bridges between state public health policies and federal actions. This experience will be invaluable in the coming months, when there will be an urgent need for coordinating federal COVID-19 vaccination and prevention efforts with state-level responses."
"As another trans leader in public health, I am thrilled to see such a revered member of my own community be this successful, yet it is my greatest wish that the U.S. Senate bases its approval on her qualifications," said Scout, executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. "The fact that she is trans is an inspiration for the many of us who have never had a role model this senior before. The fact that she is supremely qualified means her trans status, while historic and inspirational, should not be a factor in her confirmation."
"We strongly encourage Dr. Levine's swift confirmation by the U.S. Senate," said Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. "Her leadership in Harrisburg has saved countless lives from both the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a dedicated public servant, a public health expert, and a compassionate leader who is well-prepared to go to Washington to improve public health for the American people."
An earlier version of this letter was sent by a coalition of LGBTQ+ organizations operating as the Federal LGBTQI Policy Roundtable to the Biden transition team. The new letter will remain open to organizational sign-ons through the confirmation process and can be accessed at bit.ly/levine4ash.