Democrats and the media joined in criticizing Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for his questioning of President Joe Biden’s Assistant Health Secretary nominee, Rachel Levine, who is a transgender woman, on Thursday.
What seemed to get Paul in the most trouble was when he referred to gender reassignment surgery as “genital mutilation” rather than “affirming care,” which is the preferred term.
He also questioned Levine’s stance on transgender surgery for children under age 18 and seemed to suggest that Levine supported these procedures, when Democrats claim she does not.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said that Paul’s questions were “ideological and harmful misrepresentations” and suggested that he had treated Levine with disrespect.
Levine’s stance unclear
Levine did not answer Paul’s questions about whether she supported surgery for children, and only replied that “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed.”
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has said that genital surgery is not appropriate before age 18, and Levine has said that surgical treatment before 18 is not recommended. In 2017, though, she said that some procedures could be done before 18.
It is becoming commonplace to give puberty blockers to children who say they are transgender, even though 80% of children who think they are transgender change their minds by adulthood.
Puberty-blocking drugs like testosterone for girls can have irreversible effects and even cause infertility, which cannot be undone for the 80% of girls who ultimately decide not to transition to men.
Levine’s track record in Pennslyvania
Levine’s views on transgender children are only one reason why she shouldn’t be confirmed to a national position, however.
When she was health secretary in Pennslyvania, she made the same kind of order that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made to send COVID-positive nursing home residents back to their facilities, with the same disastrous results.
Furthermore, at the same time that she made this order, she removed her own mother from a care facility and housed her in a hotel during the worst of the COVID outbreak.
Levine is a bad leader and a hypocrite of the highest order, and for these reasons, she should not be confirmed to this position or hold any position of leadership in the area of health care going forward.