The Biden administration this week announced the appointment of Rachel Levine, a man who has presented himself as a woman for much of his career, as an admiral of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.
That agency is one of a number of uniformed services the nation has, but is unlike the military in that it deals only with health issues, and has no bases, camps, forts or anything like that.
The corps, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is more like the officers within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who command research vessels into weather events like hurricanes.
The U.S. PHS corps members focus on fighting diseases, conducting research and caring for patients in underserved communities.
Its members are given military-style commissions and naval-style ranks and they wear uniforms to reflect those titles, in the idea the PHS is a prepared to be on the frontlines of whatever health crisis may arise.
There are some 6,000 members of the corps and they are employed at the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Indian Health Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and dozens more.
Besides Levine, its leaders include Rear Adm. Joan Hunter, an adviser to the assistant secretary of health and the U.S. Surgeon General, Rear Adm. Susan Ortega, Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, Rear Adm. Denise Hinton, the deputy surgeon general, and Rear Arm. Richard Childs.
Levine’s position in the Biden administration is that of assistant secretary for health.
Tom Fitton, of government watchdog Judicial Watch, dismissed the Biden administration’s brouhaha over the appointment with, “Biden gang playing quota politics with public health service.”
Levine, at his appointment, said,” I’m doing this because of my dedication to service … [and] with the utmost respect and honor for the uniform that I will be wearing.”
Levine, 63, previously was the health secretary in the state of Pennsylvania.
The senior members of the health corps frequently are political appointees.
A report posted at the Greenwichtime.com site explained the service formally was established in 1889, and it apparently was intended to address sailors who may return to the U.S. with diseases.
“Admiral Levine’s historic appointment as the first openly transgender four-star officer is a giant step forward toward equality as a nation,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra explained.
The scientific facts are that transgenders can alter their physical appearance, manners and presentation, but being either male or female is embedded in the human body down to the DNA level.
Formerly Richard Levine, the new officer made the “transition” to Rachel after having been married with a family.
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