FACT CHECK: Was Rachel Levine Featured On A Vanity Fair Magazine Cover?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Dr. Rachel Levine, President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health, tweeting “thank you” to Vanity Fair for featuring her on a magazine cover.
The magazine cover is fabricated. It was tweeted by a parody Twitter account that has since been suspended.
Tapped by Biden to serve as assistant secretary of health, Levine is poised to potentially become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate, according to The Washington Post. She formerly served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, the Harrisburg-based ABC27 News reported.
In recent days, Facebook users have been sharing a screen grab of a Feb. 1 tweet from the Twitter handle @DrRachelLevine that includes a picture of an alleged Vanity Fair magazine issue featuring Levine. The supposed cover also sports text that says “The Sky Is The Limit” and “‘Madam President Levine’ A Leader In The Making.”
“Thank you Vanity Fair for honoring me on the cover of your magazine this March,” the tweet reads. “My dream of becoming @POTUS one day just took a step forward.” (RELATED: Did Hillary Clinton Send This 2011 Email To Barack Obama Discussing ‘The Pizza Arrangement’?)
While some Facebook users appeared to believe that Vanity Fair featured Levine on a recent cover and that Levine tweeted about it, that isn’t actually the case. A review of Vanity Fair’s archive of magazine issues turned up no matching cover. Musician Billie Eilish appeared on the cover of the magazine’s March 2021 issue, while its Holiday 2020/2021 cover featured talk show host Stephen Colbert.
The photo of Levine and the text appear to have been photoshopped onto the cover of a magazine. Photographer Daniel Shanken took the picture of Levine for Reuters at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in May 2015, according to its caption. It can be found in a June 2015 article titled “Transgender physician breaks barrier in Pennsylvania capital.”
The screen grabbed tweet also didn’t come from Levine. The handle of her verified Twitter account is @SecretaryLevine, not @DrRachelLevine. The handle @DrRachelLevine, which has been suspended, disclaimed in its bio that it is a parody account, an archived tweet on the Wayback Machine shows.
This isn’t the first time Levine has been the subject of misinformation on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked an altered photo that falsely claimed to show Levine holding a small dog while standing with two family members.