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President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Pennsylvania health expert Dr. Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary for health in the department of Health and Human Services, in a move that could make Levine the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation.

Levine is currently the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she leads the state's fight against COVID-19. She is also professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Levine began her medical career as a pediatrician, at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Authorities at the U.S. Capitol are on high alert. NPR's Noel King talks to National Guard Vice Chief Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville about how the guard is helping to secure Inauguration Day events.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

When Amanda Gorman was asked to write a poem for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, she didn't know where to begin. The nation has just been through a bitter election. Americans are as divided as ever. And the pandemic continues to rage.

"It was really daunting to begin the poem because you don't even really know the entry point in which to step into the murk," she said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has spent his career documenting American history, and he always considered three major crises in the nation's past: The Civil War, the Depression and World War II.

Then came the unprecedented "perfect storm" of 2020 — and Burns thinks we may be living through America's fourth great crisis, and perhaps the worst one yet.

Federal investigators say they have arrested several alleged members of extremist and white supremacist groups who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

At least eight people allegedly affiliated with organizations such as The Three Percenters, The Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Texas Freedom Force, and other self-described Nazis and white supremacists were among those who joined the thousands that stormed the U.S. Capitol building, according to federal investigators.

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