WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Reps. Jim Banks and Marjorie Taylor Greene were both censored by Twitter – and Banks’ account suspended – after they referred to U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine as a man instead of a woman.
Banks (IN) and Greene (GA) both had their tweets flagged with a hate speech disclaimer after they had both been critical of an October 19 announcement that Levine would be appointed as the “first female” four-star admiral to serve in public health.
Levine, who is transgender, had lived for 54 years as a biological male before transitioning to female in 2011. In February 13 2021, President Joe Biden formally nominated Levine to be Assistant Secretary for Health, who would go on to butt heads with Senator Rand Paul on transgender issues during an early March confirmation hearing.
Levine was later successfully confirmed by a Senate vote on March 24, and was sworn in as a four-star admiral at a ceremony on October 19, making her the highest ranking official in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
In response, Greene tweeted that “A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything. China is laughing at us.” The tweet was subsequently flagged for a violation of Twitter’s rules on “hateful conduct” regarding “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” but was allowed to remain up for public viewing.
Banks also tweeted about Levine’s promotion, writing, “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.” The tweet is now unavailable as Banks’ political Twitter account was suspended until he deletes the offending tweet.
“The account referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy. The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account,” Twitter said in a statement.
Banks, however, took to his personal Twitter account to decry the suspension, where he doubled down on his previous comments about Levine.
“My tweet was a statement of fact,” Banks said. “Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you.”