FACT CHECK: Did Rachel Levine Say Dr. Seuss Books and Mr. Potato Head Were Bad for Children?
A post shared on Facebook claims Dr. Rachel Levine, President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health, said Dr. Seuss books and Mr. Potato Head were bad for children.
Check Your Fact didn’t find any record of Levine saying Dr. Seuss books and Mr. Potato Head were bad for children.
The March 8 Facebook post includes a photo of Levine, with a caption reading: “Check up from the neck up people!! A man in women’s clothes is telling us that Dr. Suess (sic) books and Mr. Potato head are bad for the children what in the hell happened to this country.”
If approved, Levine will be the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by U.S. Senate, according to Washington Post. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Article About Rachel Levine Vowing To Make ‘Hostile Misgendering’ A Mental Illness Under New Health Guidelines)
However, Check Your Fact didn’t find any record of Levine making a statement to that effect. No such comment could be found in a search of press releases published by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where Levine was previously the secretary of health. Had she made the remark that Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head were bad for children, media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have.
A search of Levine’s verified Twitter account likewise didn’t turn up any record of the statement. Check Your Fact also reviewed Levine’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, as well as the transcript from her confirmation hearing on Feb. 25, but found no mention of Dr. Seuss or Mr. Potato Head.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises on March 2 announced in a statement that the company would cease production of six books because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” In late February, Hasbro released a statement saying the company was “officially renaming the MR. POTATO HEAD brand to POTATO HEAD to better reflect the full line.”