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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

LGBT+

Dr. Rachel Levine

Screenshot from the official White House Twitter (@WhiteHouse)

President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender Pennsylvania Health Secretary, to be his assistant secretary of health yesterday, according to several news outlets. If approved Levine will become the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.

"A deeply experienced public servant and public health expert, she is poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate," announced a tweet from the official White House Twitter account.



"Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond," Biden said in a statement. "She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts.

The nomination is a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in America and a continuation of the promise President Biden made to have a diverse Cabinet. Levine will join Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg, who became the first openly gay nominee for a Senate-confirmed position, as the firsts in the LGBTQ+ community to be nominated for Senate-confirmed postions. She will also become the fourth Tulane alumnus nominated for a position within the Biden-Harris administration.




Levine, who "has emerged as the public face of the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic," according to AP , will assume her role as the U.S. has already surpassed 400,000 Covid-19 deaths.

"Rachel Levine's nomination represents a long sought-after leap in political representation for the embattled trans community," read a Pink News article. "And a tremendous turning point in a country that has witnessed the Trump's administration years-long attacks against LGBT+ rights as well as surging rates of transphobic violence."

Kyle Knight, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, pointed out an article by InterAct a group that advocates for intersex youth.

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Pete Buttigieg

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly going to name former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to play an essential role in Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan as transportation secretary, according to multiple sources.

The role of transportation secretary is an especially important job in the Biden administration which promises a "sustainable infrastructure" plan that heavily relies on the Department of Transportation (DOT). In Biden's plan, he promises to reach "net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050."

According to POLITICO, the 38 year-old Rhodes Scholar and Afghanistan veteran was eyeing the position of United Nations Ambassador, until that post was given to Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Instead, Buttigieg will play an important role in bringing Biden's infrastructure plan to fruition, even though he doesn't have much experience with transportation. The young former mayor has had a meteoric rise in American politics -- and Biden gave him the "highest compliment I can give any man or woman" by comparing him to his late son Beau, back when Buttigieg delivered his endorsement to Biden in the primaries. If confirmed, Buttigieg will be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary in U.S. history, as Biden has promised a diverse cabinet.