Secretary of Health addresses transphobic comments during COVID-19 briefing


HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine addressed issues of transphobia within the commonwealth Tuesday.

Dr. Levine stressed to the public, that while comments may be made about her, they affect thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians.

Bloomsburg Fair officials received backlash for a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, that shows a man in a dress in a dunk tank with the post reading, “Dr. Levine? Thank you. You were a hit and raised a lot of money for the local fire companies. Wonder why so many were trying to dunk you. Thanks everyone that came out to support our local fire companies.”

Fair officials held a press conference to apologize for the post and that their intention was not to offend anyone.

“To the perpetrators of these actions, if your apologies are sincerely given, then I accept your apologies,” Dr. Levine said in her address. “But an apology is the beginning, not the end of the conversation.

Dr. Levine urged all Pennsylvanians to foster a spirit of acceptance, tolerance and welcoming toward the LGBTQ community.

Governor Tom Wolf issued a statement in response to the post made by the Bloomsburg Fair saying, “Hate has no place in Pennsylvania, even in the smallest transphobic joke, action or social media post. I’m calling upon all Pennsylvanians to speak out against hateful comments and acts, including the transphobia directed at Dr. Levine and all Transgender people in our great commonwealth.”

Also during Dr. Levine’s news conference Tuesday, she announced that all 693 skilled nursing homes in the commonwealth have completed facility-wide COVID-19 testing.

Levine said the completion of this testing is one step closer to allowing visitation, open dining and activities to resume in nursing homes.

Dr. Levine said guidelines for visitation have been released and recommended that interested Pennsylvanian’s should contact the facility they wish to visit for further guidance.

The Department of Health says they will continue to provide facilities with access to testing at no cost, as well as continuing to provide personal protective equipment to staff at all facilities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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