Rachel Levine, MD, the transgender doctor who totally flubbed the COVID-19 response as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, has been nominated to be President Joe Biden’s Assistant Secretary for Health.
While PA health secretary, Levine did a horrible job and was responsible for a large number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
In May 2020, Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano said of Dr Levine–She committed the equivalent of policy malpractice in her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in her handling of the virus’s spread through nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
While some authors scoff at the claims, Pennsylvania Department of Health Nursing Care Facilities guidelines published in May, which states very clearly: A positive test result is not a reason to refuse readmission to a resident.
In addition, an NCF must continue to take new admissions, if appropriate beds are available, and a suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19 is not a reason to deny admission.”
Until recently, roughly 70 percent of all COVID-19 fatalities in Pennsylvania were among nursing home and long-term care facility patients.
Dr. Levine was also critiqued last May after she moved her mother out of a personal care facility shortly after implementing the above policy.
“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied to move her to another location during the Covid-19 outbreak,” Levine said. “My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions.”
Levine stressed that her mother had lived at a personal care facility, which is distinct from a nursing home, and that the facility did not fall under the jurisdiction of her agency.
However, these important, Andrew Cuomo-esq disastrous moves don’t appear to matter to many as what is more significant is Levine’s transgender status.
“This marks a real turning point that honors and includes trans people,” Molly Bangs, director of Equity Forward, an HHS watchdog group, told Vox about Levine’s nomination. “She’s given every indication that she will continue to center equity from all perspectives when ascending to federal office. Transgender youth need real quality health care and access to information more so than ever. She’s demonstrated that that is very much a cornerstone of really what drives her career.”
And as you can read in the tweet from a physician above, the “inclusiveness” was paramount. Her record be damned.