An LGBT advocacy group is lobbying for Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine to be the surgeon general in a future Biden administration.
“I think there is a value in giving visibility to doctors like Dr. Levine who are kind of unique in their field. Not just because of their demographics and who they are but also because of their expertise,” said Robin Gonzalez of the Victory Institute, according to local WLVR.
“We also know that when people know LGBTQ people it makes them more open to supporting our equality,” added Gonzalez, who claims to have been in contact with Levine recently.
Since the Clinton administration, the Victory Institute has been advising presidents on how best to appoint LGBT people to the highest echelons of government.
Levine has taken flak for how the coronavirus pandemic was handled in Pennsylvania.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Back in March, Levine ordered nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania to continue to accept coronavirus-positive patients who had been discharged from hospitals and were unable to return to their homes, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.
“On March 29, as Pennsylvania, New York and other states began ordering nursing homes to admit medically stable residents infected with the coronavirus, national trade groups warned it could unnecessarily cost more lives,” the outlet reported. “The health directives put ‘frail and older adults who reside in nursing homes at risk’ and would ‘result in more people going to the hospital and more deaths,’ the American Health Care Association and affiliates said at the time.”
The Victory Institute has proven influential in moving other LGBT figures into positions of power.
As The Daily Wire further reported:
Shawn Skelley, who served 20 years as a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy, now serves as vice president of the non-profit “Out in National Security,” and is just one example of the diversity the Biden administration hopes to exhibit, according to NBC News.
Skelley became the first transgender veteran to be appointed by a president in 2013, when President Barack Obama appointed Skelley to various positions, such as special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics at the Department of Defense and also director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Obama later appointed Skelley as a commissioner on the newly made National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service in 2017.
The Victory Institute, which describes itself as “the only national organization dedicated to elevating openly LGBTQ leaders who can further equality at all levels of government,” and has partnered with approximately 30 other LGBTQ organizations to form a “Presidential Appointments Initiative,” which “works with LGBTQ leaders and pro-equality presidential administrations to ensure LGBTQ people are included in government,” according the group’s website. “When LGBTQ presidential appointees are empowered, they can significantly influence the policies and direction of agencies and the executive branch to make positive change for LGBTQ people.”
“LGBTQ Victory Institute and our partners are working with the transition team to field and identify potential candidates for appointed positions in the upcoming Biden-Harris administration,” the group continued, further explaining that their goals include pressing the Biden administration to have an LGBTQ cabinet member, an LGBTQ Supreme Court justice, transgender ambassadors, and that “openly LGBTQ people receive equitable representation among presidential appointees.”
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