Rachel Levine – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health
POSTION: U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health
NOMINEE: Rachel Levine (born Richard Levine)
BIRTHDATE: Born 1957
EDUCATION: Harvard University (BS), Tulane University (MD)
FAMILY: Two children from a previous marriage
EXPERIENCE: Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Health
On Late Term Abortions
Dr. Levine opposed legislation in Pennsylvania that included a 20-week limit and a ban on dismemberment abortions. Their statement against the bill misleads on what the bill actually does and spoke in favor of the abortion procedures as “appropriate medical care.” The bill was eventually passed however it was vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf (D).
On Abortion-Giant Planned Parenthood
As Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine designated abortion facilities such as abortion-giant Planned Parenthood as “essential” services – while declaring other elected surgical procedures were not. Dr. Levine also recommended that all school sports be banned — a proposal that was not followed by the state’s athletic association. There were no adverse consequences of kids playing sports — which likely saved lives, as states that banned sports have had multiple press reports of student-athlete suicides.
Following Dr. Levine’s nomination the main source of abortions in the United States praised the nomination as they look forward to working together.
On COVID Response
Pennsylvania State Senator Judy Ward, chair of the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth, released a statement listing the failures of Dr. Levine’s tenure as Secretary of Health, including her COVID response.
On Nursing Home Deaths
According to the New York Times, six of the 10 nursing homes with the most COVID-19 deaths in the nation were in Pennsylvania – a direct result of Secretary Levine’s policy to order nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. Representatives of the nursing home industry have sued the Commonwealth, saying that the state under this administration illegally withheld $150 million in federal funding, diverting the money into other human services programs.
Secretary Levine moved their own mother out of a nursing home during COVID’s rise, while continuing to uphold a policy that placed COVID positive seniors back into nursing homes. More on that here.
On Vaccine Distribution
Under Secretary Levine, Pennsylvania ranks as one of the lowest states in the northeast in terms of percentage of population to receive the first vaccine doses. According to Fortune magazine, about 2.7 out of every 100 Pennsylvania residents have been vaccinated, putting the Commonwealth behind more than 30 other states. The leading state, West Virginia, has vaccinated about 5.8 of every 100 residents.
On Avoiding COVID
Secretary Levine’s recommendations included advise on what to do in “large gatherings” involving sex – including relying instead on pornography.
On Opioid and Drug Crisis
From Sen. Judy Ward’s press release, on the rise of drug overdose deaths under Secretary Levine: “The state counted 2,352 overdose deaths through June 30, an increase of 11.7% from 2,105 in the same period a year earlier.”