FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Rachel Levine With Her Family?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 1,300 times claims to show Dr. Rachel Levine with her family.

Verdict: False

Levine’s head has been superimposed into the image. The original photo shows a British family.

Fact Check:

President Joe Biden announced on Jan. 19 that he would nominate Levine to serve as the assistant Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, CBS News reported. Levine, the Pennsylvania secretary of health at the time of her nomination, is set to potentially become the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, according to The Washington Post.

This particular Facebook post claims to show Levine holding a small dog while standing with two members of her family, with the caption attempting to disparage her gender identity and weight. Levine has been the target of derogatory social media posts in the past, The Associated Press reported.

“Biden’s new overweight transgender health secretary and her/his family,” text in the image reads. “Dr. Rachel Levine, she will be in charge of our healthy lifestyle. Congratulations America!!” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Article About Rachel Levine Vowing To Make ‘Hostile Misgendering’ A Mental Illness Under New Health Guidelines)

In reality, the image has been digitally altered. The Mirror, a U.K. media outlet, published the original photo in a July 2015 article about a British family that appeared in the reality TV show “Lorraine Kelly’s Big Fat Challenge.” In the unaltered photo’s caption, the people pictured are identified as Philip Chawner and his daughters, Samantha and Emma.

Levine’s face and hair has been photoshopped onto Chawner’s body in the doctored image being shared on Facebook. The faces of Chawner’s daughters have also been manipulated.

This isn’t the first time Levine has been the subject of online misinformation since being nominated for the assistant HHS secretary position. Check Your Fact previously debunked the claim that a syndicated Associated Press article reported that Levine said she would make “hostile misgendering” a mental illness under new health guidelines.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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