The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Rachel Levine, President Joe Biden's pick as assistant secretary of health.

Levine is the first transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate as a presidential appointee.

Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, joined Democrats in confirming Levine's appointment.

Levine recognized the historic significance of her appointment.

“As I prepare to take my oath of office and begin serving as assistant secretary for health, I would like to take this opportunity to address members of the LGBTQ community,” Levine said in a statement. “First, thank you. Only through your work and advocacy over many decades is my story possible. I am humbled to be the first transgender individual to serve in a Senate-confirmed position. As Vice President Harris has said, I recognize that I may be the first, but am heartened by the knowledge that I will not be the last.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called Wednesday's vote “inspiring” for the LGBT community.

“It is a historic, inspiring day for the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender people, who are finally able to see themselves reflected at the highest levels of our government,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “With the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine, we are one step closer to a government that mirrors the beautiful diversity of its people. It is absolutely critical that everybody has a seat at the table and the Biden-Harris administration has made a dedicated, applaudable effort to ensure that outcome.”

“At a time when transgender children are under attack by state legislatures across the U.S., and access to healthcare is systematically threatened for transgender and gender non-conforming people, Dr. Levine has the compassion and understanding to improve the health needs of our diverse and growing population.”

“The Human Rights Campaign congratulates Dr. Levine on her historic confirmation today,” he added.

As assistant secretary of health, Levine will oversee Biden's plan to end the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. She will also continue efforts to end the HIV epidemic. According to the CDC, an estimated 1.2 million Americans were living with HIV at the end of 2018, according to the agency's most recent data.

Levine previously was confirmed twice as Pennsylvania's secretary of health. She is also a professor at the Penn State College of Medicine.