A Christian organization targeted Dr. Rachel Levine, nominated for Assistant Secretary for Health, with a transphobic tweet. Twitter decided then to suspend the account temporarily.
The First Trans Person To Become Federal Official
Newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health. If the Senate approves, she will be the first openly transgender federal official.
Dr. Levine is a pediatrician and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health until 2021. Moreover, during the pandemic, she had an important role in the fight against COVID-19.
A Long Experience In Public Health
Born in 1957, Levine grew up in Boston and studied at Harvard and Tulane University's medical school. Later, she worked as a pediatrician, helping young people recover from eating disorders and self-harm.
In 2015, Pennsylvania's Senate confirmed her as physician general. On that occasion, she talked about her experience coming out as transgender back in 2011.
Because of her support to restrictions against COVID-19, she recently received threats and attacks online. It was, however, precisely her response to the crisis which contributed to winning the trust of President Biden.
Twitter Removed Hateful Tweets
Following President Biden's decision, on January 19th, the Christian organization, The Daily Citizen expressed transphobic views about Dr. Levine. They tweeted:
"On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman."
Twitter then suspended the account for breaking its rules against hateful speech. As a result, the platform asked The Daily Citizen to remove the post.
The rules on Twitter, in fact, do not allow for discrimination of trans people. Therefore, the decision that the tweet does not belong on the platform is far from shocking.