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Fact Check-Image of U.S. assistant health secretary in swimsuit digitally altered

An image purporting to show Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, wearing a bikini at the beach is digitally altered.

An image has been widely shared on Facebook showing what appears to be Levine on a beach.

Examples of the image published on Facebook can be found (here), (here), (here), and (here).

One such image posted on Facebook on May 22 has over 44,000 shares (here).

The image is digitally altered, however, with Levine’s face superimposed onto another person’s body.

The original image was published by wellness advocate and motivational speaker Sarah Sapora on her Instagram account in April 2017 (here).

The images of Sapora were shown in publications such as Refinery 29, Women’s Health Magazine, and Allure in 2017 (here), (here), and (here).

In an Instagram post published in April 2021, Sapora detailed how her image had been digitally altered (here).

“Last night, I saw an image of mine had (once again) been turned into a meme designed to mock, shame, and hurt someone. This isn’t the first time a picture of mine has been used as a weapon against another woman, and I’m sure it won’t be the last,” Sapora said on Instagram.

“The image featured the face of Dr. Rachel Levine, the newly appointed Assistant Secretary of Health, edited onto my body, one of those bikini pics that broke the mold so loudly back in 2017,” she added.

Reuters has fact-checked an altered image of Levine in the past, when her face was superimposed onto a photo of a participant in the UK television show ‘Lorainne Kelly’s Big Fat Challenge’. (here).

VERDICT

Altered. An image purporting to show U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine at the beach was digitally altered. The original photograph is of a wellness advocate who first posted the image on Instagram in 2017.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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