Dr. Rachel Levine’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services is being hailed as "historic" by Democrats and the media, solely because Levine is transgender.
It is crazy that gender identity is what’s being focused on by elected leaders and the press. It should be irrelevant. What’s needed, especially during a pandemic, is competence. Levine lacks it.
As Pennsylvania Health Secretary, Levine was in charge of the state’s COVID-19 response. President Biden's nominee told the Senate panel last Thursday that the pandemic was the "urgent and primary focus" of Pennsylvania.
What the record shows is that Levine failed miserably, costing Pennsylvanian lives.
Pennsylvania ranks a dismal 45 out of the 50 states in COVID-19 case fatality rates, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. The commonwealth also lagged most of the nation in testing.
Worse, like New York, Pennsylvania ordered nursing homes to admit COVID-infected hospital patients, causing carnage. In the first five months of the pandemic, 70% of COVID fatalities in the state were nursing home residents.
Pennsylvania’s economy also suffered, thanks to draconian lockdowns.
Levine seems oblivious to the economic impact. When asked at Thursday’s Senate hearing what Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is, Levine had no clue. Pretty shocking.
In Pennsylvania, Levine also failed to devise a successful vaccination plan. The fallout from that failure is now becoming apparent. The state ranks 49 out of 50 states in getting vaccines into people’s arms.
What was President Biden thinking wanting to elevate Levine to oversee the federal pandemic response?
Answer: Nevermind the record of failure in Pennsylvania, Levine is the darling of the far left for transgender activism and advocacy for adolescent gender reassignment.
It’s important for the public to be able to get straight answers about Levine’s views on these topics before potential confirmation.
Among other reasons, Health and Human Services creates certain guidelines for sex education in schools. Across the nation, states and school districts are already embroiled in controversy over the role of school psychologists and pediatricians in encouraging or "affirming" a child’s interest in changing gender, and how to meet children’s needs while preserving parents’ authority.
Levine has published academic papers advocating hormone treatments for 14 to 16 year-olds to develop secondary sex traits like beards for girls transitioning to become male.
But when Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Levine whether or not minors are capable of making life-altering decisions about their gender identity, the left erupted in outrage.
Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., labeled Paul’s question as ideological and harmful, and called for more respect to be shown to nominees. The media called him "transphobic." Vanessa Lamers of the Public Health Foundation said Sen. Paul’s remarks were "a disgusting line of questioning."
Why disgusting? The public has a right to know the views of a nominee whose decisions could affect their family’s healthcare. But instead of answering, Levine regurgitated twice that “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field” and offered to discuss it further with Paul if confirmed.
That’s not right. Nominees need to be ready to engage, and answer the tough questions.
It’s not enough to be a "historic" (meaning just the first of a demographic group to fill whatever the job is) nominee. Substance matters, and so does competence. That’s where Levine comes up short.
Levine also declined to give any real answer to the question on the minds of millions of American parents, when and how to open the schools. Levine isn’t the only nominee dodging all meaningful questions.
The politically correct approach to Biden nominees, it appears, is to applaud their place in the human race, stressing whatever racial, ethnic, or sexual distinctions they bring to the administration and then expect nothing more.
Senate Republicans who questioned Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., a Native American, were accused of racism for pressing her on key topics.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., former Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said "my constituents deserve straight answers from the potential secretary." He added, "they got very few of those."
The takeaway from Biden’s appointments is that diversity is no substitute for competence and straight answers.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., is the former Lt. Governor of New York State. Read Betsy McCaughey's Reports — Here Now.
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