Twitter censored a pair of Republican lawmakers after they called U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine a man.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) reacted to the announcement that Levine, who is transgender, would be appointed as the first female four-star officer to serve in public health service.
Greene tweeted, “A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything. China is laughing at us.”
The social media platform labeled her tweet as a violation of the “Twitter Rules about hateful conduct.” Still, Twitter explained it “has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything.
China is laughing at us. pic.twitter.com/aevoytoOHf
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) October 20, 2021
Banks also voiced his frustration with the announcement, saying, “Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day.”
Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first "female" four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day. https://t.co/bHKmJbE6cA
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) October 19, 2021
Twitter reportedly notified Banks that his tweet calling Levine a man violated the platform’s “rules against hateful conduct.” Banks will be locked out of his account until the tweet is deleted.
NEW: Twitter has censored @RepJimBanks for calling HHS' Rachel Levine a man. He will be locked out of his account until he deletes the tweet, "The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man." pic.twitter.com/6wdDqJ36kH
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) October 23, 2021
Administration officials praised Levine’s appointment. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement, “Admiral Levine’s historic appointment as the first openly transgender four-star officer is a giant step forward toward equality as a nation.”
Levine responded to criticism from Republicans, explaining, “I am not worried. I’m such a strong proponent of diversity, equity and inclusion … and we have a president that is such a strong advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion as well.”
Previously serving as Pennsylvania’s health secretary, Levine highlighted several issues, including the opioid crisis and maternal health, as NPR noted.
“First in academic medicine, to then serve my patients and students, then to serve in public health in Pennsylvania and even in Washington, D.C., as the assistant secretary for Health. Now with this role, this is just a further extension of that,” Levine said.
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