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- 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.)
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.
Facebook post, Jan. 29, 2021
NBC News, Biden nominee Dr. Rachel Levine met with transphobic smear campaign, Jan. 26, 2021
The Washington Post, Biden selects transgender doctor Rachel Levine as assistant health secretary, Jan. 19, 2021
Irish Mirror, Mum walks out on TV reality fat family with a combined weight of 83 STONE, July 4, 2015
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