Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, voted against Levine’s confirmation Wednesday.
“In Pennsylvania, the pandemic struck seniors in nursing homes disproportionately hard compared to other states,” Toomey said. “This was due in part to poor decisions and oversight by Dr. Levine and the Wolf administration.”
Levine refused to answer Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a doctor, when he questioned her about her support for hormone therapy to 3-year-olds.
“Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?” Paul asked.
“Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research,” Levine responded.
Paul accused her of evading the question.
“Do you support the government intervening to override a parent’s consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts or genitalia?” Paul said.
Levine repeated her previous answer, saying “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field” and added that she’d be happy to discuss the field more with Paul and his staff.
“Let it go to the record that the witness refused to answer the question,” said Paul. (RELATED: ‘What Planet Are You From?’ — Rand Paul Slams Biden’s Education Secretary Nominee Over Transgender Athletes)
The assistant secretary for health (ASH) is a senior U.S. government official within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The position is a statutory office (42 U.S.C. § 202) and the holder of the office serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services’s primary advisor on matters involving the nation’s public health. The assistant secretary oversees all matters pertaining to the United States Public Health Service (PHS), the main division of the Department of Health and Human Services, for the secretary, and provides strategic and policy direction. The Public Health Service comprises almost all of the agency divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services including the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the eight federal uniformed services, comprising more than 6,500 uniformed health professionals who serve with the Department of Health and Human Services, or are assigned to work within other federal agencies, including the United States Armed Forces.