Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine claimed during an interview with NPR that “there is no argument” about “gender-affirming care” in the medical world.
In the interview, Levine, the highest-ranking transgender person in the U.S. government, said doctors have reached a consensus on the importance of gender-affirming care for transgender children.
The comments were made ahead of a Saturday speech at Texas Christian University, where Levine spoke about transgender youth and healthcare.
Levine said “The language of medicine and science is being used to drive people to suicide”.
“There is no argument among medical professionals – pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. – about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care,” the secretary added.
According to a fact sheet from Levine’s Department of Health and Human Services, “gender-affirming care” includes social affirmations, the prescription of puberty blockers, and hormone therapy.
The agency noted that irreversible surgery is “typically used in adulthood or case-by-case basis in adolescence”.
Another fact sheet, published by the Florida Department of Health, advises against the claims of the HHS regarding gender-affirming care.
The Florida sheet cites a “lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” advising against the treatment.
Levine claimed the Florida guidance was “based upon political considerations” and “not appropriate”.
“One of the most vulnerable groups of young people are LGBTQI+ youth, and particularly – the focus of many of these issues – trans youth. We need to affirm them,” Levine said.