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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 2, 2021

No, this isn’t a photo of Rachel Levine’s family

If Your Time is short

  • This photo has been doctored.

President Joe Biden has tapped Rachel Levine, a pediatrician and Pennsylvania’s health secretary, as his assistant secretary of health. If her nomination succeeds, Levine would become the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the U.S. Senate. It has also inspired transphobic attacks against her

One doctored photo that’s spreading on social media wrongly says the image shows Levine and her family. The photo of three people standing arm in arm has been altered to look like Levine is in the center holding a dog. 

A description at the top of the photo reads, with typos: "Biden’s new overweight transgender health secretary and her/his healthy family. Dr. Rachel Levine, she will be in charged of our healthy lifestyle. Congratulations America!!"

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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The original photo shows Philip Chawner flanked by his daughters, Samantha and Emma. The British family appeared on a reality weight loss show called "Lorraine Kelly’s Big Fat Challenge." 

Before being tapped for the Biden administration, Levine garnered national attention for her work overseeing Pennsylvania’s coronavirus response in the face of repeated attacks on her gender identity.

We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.


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No, this isn’t a photo of Rachel Levine’s family

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