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Richard 'Rachel' LevineTom Brenner-Pool / Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – The Biden administration announced another promotion this week for “transgender” Assistant Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Richard “Rachel” Levine, who was sworn in Tuesday as a four-star admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), for which some in the press are describing him as the “first female” to reach the position despite being biologically male.

Biden appointed Levine to HHS in March after his stint as Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, eliciting headlines touting the “first openly transgender” appointee to such a post. NPR reported that the Biden administration, apparently hoping to draw similar praise, promoted Levine to admiral in the PHSCC in a Tuesday swearing-in ceremony. Levine’s official government biography lists no prior military service.

“I think this is symbolic of [the Biden administration’s] commitment and for transgender youth and other transgender individuals that there are no glass ceilings and no limitation to what we can achieve,” Levine said.

A review of Levine’s record identifies several areas of concern for his medical credentials, however.

Conservative critics have argued that, as a so-called “trans woman” who endorses and promotes the notion that individuals can change their “gender identity” at will, Levine lacks the medical competence and/or objectivity to be entrusted with hot-button transgender issues. He has been an outspoken proponent of “gender affirmation” and “sex reassignment” treatment for minors. 

In a 2017 lecture, he endorsed puberty-blockers for gender-confused children throughout puberty, followed by “sex change” surgery at 18. While transgender surgery “usually” is performed only on adults, Levine said “there are exceptions.” During Levine’s confirmation hearings earlier this year, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky slammed him for refusing “to say, absolutely, minors shouldn’t be making decisions to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia.”

Apart from Levine’s gender dysphoria, critics note that Levine ran Pennsylvania’s draconian COVID-19 response, which included pushing nursing homes to readmit COVID patients and ordering two-year-olds to wear masks in public. His nursing home stance was particularly controversial in light of the revelation that he moved his 95-year-old mother out of a nursing home at the same time. He claimed it was done at his mother’s request, but critics say it showed that Levine knew the risks of his policy guidance.

“[W]e congratulate Admiral Doctor Levine,” Louder With Crowder writer John Brodigan quipped. “Her beautiful bravery will continue [to] inspire more qualified biological women to be passed over for generations to come.”