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Rachel Levine, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 25, 2021. (AP/Brehman) Rachel Levine, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 25, 2021. (AP/Brehman)

Rachel Levine, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 25, 2021. (AP/Brehman)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy March 30, 2021

No, Time magazine didn’t name Rachel Levine ‘Woman of the Year’

If Your Time is short

  • A Facebook post purports to show Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, on the cover of Time magazine as the magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” The cover is fake.

  • A Time spokesperson confirmed that the cover isn’t real. It originated as satire.

Facebook users are sharing a fake Time magazine cover that purports to show the magazine honoring Dr. Rachel Levine as its "Woman of the Year."

The cover showing the nation’s newly confirmed assistant health secretary is not real. It originated on the United Spot, a page that says it creates parody and satire. A Time spokesperson said the post does not show an authentic cover.

But the post is not clearly marked as parody or satire, and some Facebook users left comments indicating that they believed the post depicted a real Time magazine cover. 

The 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.) 

Levine, the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate, became a frequent target of online misinformation after President Joe Biden nominated her for her post, including similarly false claims that said she was on the cover of Vanity Fair.

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But Levine was not Time magazine’s "Person of the Year" when that edition was published on Dec. 21, 2020. The honor went to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The distinction is released toward the end of the year. 

In March 2020, Time created 89 new magazine covers to recognize 89 women as part of a project honoring 100 influential women in history. Previously, 11 women had been selected as Time magazine’s "Person of the Year." (Until 1999, the magazine named a "Man of the Year.")

Levine was not spotlighted on one of those Time covers, either.

Fake Time magazine covers frequently crop up on Facebook and other social media platforms. They have targeted former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama in the past.

We rate this Facebook post False.

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No, Time magazine didn’t name Rachel Levine ‘Woman of the Year’

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