Trans health official leading the fight against coronavirus tipped for key role in Biden administration

LGBT folk may be reluctant to access coronavirus vaccine. Here's why

Dr Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, has been tipped for a high-ranking position in the Joe Biden administration.

Levine is one of the highest-ranking transgender officials in the US, and has spent this year leading Pennsylvania’s response to the pandemic in the face of shameless transphobia.

Her hard work and decades of medical experience could soon be rewarded, with her name now attached to two key White House roles.

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee (PAC) that helped elect hundreds of queer politicians in the 2020 election, has suggested Biden should appoint Levine either secretary of health and human services or US surgeon general.

Ruben Gonzalez, vice president of the PAC, said the organisation has already had “informal conversations” with the Biden transition team regarding LGBT+ appointments, and is “feeling very confident and very hopeful that we will see trans people serve in high-level roles in this administration”.

“Dr Rachel Levine has served Pennsylvania incredibly well as their secretary of health for a number of years, leading their response on COVID, and leading their response on the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania,” Gonzalez said, via the American Independent.

“I think someone like her is well-poised to serve at a high-level in a Biden administration.”

The LGBQT Victory Fund has made a number of other suggestions, including Pete Buttigieg for UN ambassador; Maura Healey, the first openly gay state attorney general, for US attorney general; Tammy Baldwin, the first out lesbian in Congress, for the Department of Health and Human Services; and Raphael Bostic, the first out gay man and first Black man to lead a regional bank for the Federal Reserve, as secretary of the treasury.

With more than 4,100 roles available in the incoming administration, the LGBTQ Victory Fund says that there should be at least 185 queer appointees in order for the new White House to be properly representative.

Joe Biden taps trans veteran for transition team.

As Joe Biden prepares to take office in January, he has already begun naming staff to his presidential transition team.

Among them is Shawn Skelly, who was the first transgender veteran to get a presidential appointment when Barack Obama named her director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation.

The former Navy commander will help Biden evaluate the Department of Defense, understanding how it operates and helping ensure a smooth transfer of power.