Transgender official sworn in as four-star admiral

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Dr Rachel Levine, the United States assistant health secretary, was sworn in as the country’s first transgender four-star officer on Tuesday, local media reported.

The 63-year-old was picked by US President Joe Biden to be his assistant secretary of health in January and her appointment was confirmed by the Senate earlier this year. She is also the highest-ranking openly transgender official in the US.

Levine is now an admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps — a 6,000-strong force that responds to health crises, including administering coronavirus vaccines and providing medical aid after natural disasters, according to a report by The Washington Post.

During her swearing-in ceremony, Levine described it as a “momentous” and “historic” occasion, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported.

“May this appointment today be the first of many more to come, as we create a diverse and more inclusive future,” the report quoted her as saying.—AP

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