It has been a banner week for the attempt by progressives to reengineer basic biological realities before our eyes. The same week that a man presenting himself as a woman named Lia Thomas outcompetes the nation’s best female athletes at the NCAA Division 1 swimming championships, USA Today has named Rachel Levine, another man now presenting himself as female, as one of its “Women of the Year.”
This is the same publication that once retroactively edited an article it had published by Chelsea Mitchell, who had recounted her experience competing against males as a Connecticut track athlete. Christiana Holcomb, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who represented Mitchell in her legal challenge to Connecticut’s policies on this matter, described what happened next:
A few days after USA Today published Chelsea’s op-ed in its original form, editors there arbitrarily decided to censor her piece and add an editor’s note, saying, “We regret that hurtful language was used.” What was the “hurtful language” that editors deleted from Chelsea’s opinion piece three days after publication? The word “male.”
There’s no mistaking what happened: USA Today editors, rather than stand up as honest brokers of public debate, gave in to the demands of the woke mob and replaced a word — even removing a whole sentence explaining that men have natural physical advantages — without notifying Chelsea.
So the honoring of Rachel Levine is no surprise. Levine serves as the assistant secretary of health and human services in the Biden administration. His qualification for that role was, we are led to believe, a stellar performance in the role of Pennsylvania health secretary during the Covid pandemic. Writing for us last year, after Levine became a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Pennsylvanian Terry Tracy reminded us of Levine’s actual record in his previous position in the Pennsylvania government. In addition to enforcing one of the nation’s strictest lockdowns and passing off to his successor a fiasco in vaccine distribution, Levine mandated that nursing homes accept Covid-infected patients . . . and then removed his own mother from one:
Levine’s order, on the other hand, mandated that all nursing-care facilities “must” accept individuals “who have had the Covid-19 virus.” There was no mention of each facility’s capability to deal with infectious patients.
The results were as plain as they are painful. By the time the Senate confirmed Levine’s nomination to be the assistant U.S. secretary of health, Pennsylvania had surpassed 12,500 nursing-home deaths and was the largest state where nursing-home and care-facility deaths account for over 50 percent of statewide COVID fatalities.
The nursing-home order was issued in March 2020. Yet Pennsylvanians were shocked to learn in May that Levine’s 95-year-old mother had been moved out of a nursing home and into a hotel.
Interviewed for USA Today about the honor of being a “Woman of the Year,” Levine was asked, “for transgender, nonconforming or questioning people, what is your advice to them on their journey?” He responded:
I think you have to be true to yourself and I think that you have to be who you are. You have tremendous worth just for who you are, no matter who you love, no matter who you are, no matter what your gender identity, sexual orientation or anything else, and to be, be true to that. And then everything else will follow.
This is terrible advice, exactly the sort of pablum that the transgender movement has used to convince confused children in need of actual care to put their own lives and well-being in service of a radical, self-denying worldview, leading many of them to distress or even death. Yet this is what Rachel Levine is using his platform to endorse, and presumably what USA Today hopes to spread by giving him (yet another) one in the first place.
That the elite echelons of our society seem so keen to promote this toxicity can be a cause for despair. But as we are seeing this week, there are certain realities that resist even the most assiduous attempts at erasure. With persistence, clarity, and bravery, those who still believe in such truths can defend them successfully.
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