Assistant Health Secretary to the Biden Administration and first transgender official, Rachel Levine, was invited onto MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Monday, July 18, to discuss monkeypox, COVID-19, and the recent legislation affecting minors who identify as transgender.
The program’s host, Andrea Mitchell, asks about the op-ed Levine recently published in the Miami Herald: "You asked people to make medical decisions on real data and compassion, rather than slander." However, no such data exists to support the off-label use of puberty blockers in the treatment of gender dysphoria.
Levine makes the false assertion that transgender youth don’t have underlying mental health issues that may be causing their dysphoria, saying that "They have more mental health issues but there’s nothing inherent about being transgender or gender-diverse which would predispose youth to depression or anxiety." According to Levine, the source of their elevated distress is due only to harassment and bullying, and through "politically motivated attacks through state actions."
"This is not based on data. These actions are politically motivated," Levine claims of the recent legislation. On the issue of sports, Levine said that "I don’t want to limit" the participation of biologically male minors who identify as transgender in female sports, or "even limit their ability to get gender-affirmation treatment in their state." But while “gender affirmation” treatment may sound innocuous, in practice this amounts to allowing children to dictate the terms of their own sex change.
The "politically motivated attacks" Levine refers to may include the recent block that a federal court in Tennessee put on the Biden’s administration’s interpretation of a federal law that conflates gender identity with biological sex. This enjoinment would protect female athletes from being forced to compete against males in 20 states.
In their closing remarks, Mitchell brings up the dubiously nicknamed, "Don't Say Gay" bill, a politicized euphemism for the Parental Rights in Education Act. Levine adds that the bill is "very damaging" to the health of minors who identify as transgender.