Biden picks Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant health secretary

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By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Pennsylvania's health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, to be part of his incoming administration as assistant secretary of health.

It's a historic choice. Levine would be the first openly transgender person confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

In his announcement, Biden said Levine "will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic" no matter what their background is. And he said that she is a "deeply qualified" choice to help lead the administration's public health efforts.

If confirmed, Levine would help lead the Biden administration's reponse to the coronavirus pandmeic with a $1.9 trillion plan.

So far nearly 400,000 Americans have died from the virus.

Part of Biden's plan is to ramp up vaccine distribution to deliver 100 million shots in his for 100 days in office.

Levine is a pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general. She was appointed to her current position by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017 and confirmed by a Republican-controlled state legislature.

She is one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide.

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