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Dr. Deborah Birx has made it known she wants to help Joe Biden’s administration with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. After a series of events, she announced her intent to retire after assists with the president-elect’s transition, as reported by WCPO on Dec. 22, 2020.
As a member of the Trump administration, Birx worked alongside Vice President Pence on the coronavirus task force. She stepped away from her ambassadorial role as the United States global AIDS coordinator to take the task force position.
“When Birx, a physician with a background in HIV/AIDS research, was named coordinator of the task force in February, she was widely praised as a tough, indefatigable manager and a voice of data-driven reason,” explains Charles Piller for AAAS News.
When she began, her reputation was sterling. But that began to fade when she was not vocal enough against the president’s dangerous suggestions about how to ward off the coronavirus.
Dr. Birx Remained Quiet Despite Trump’s Dismissal of CDC COVID-19 Guidelines
“Her failure to effectively push back on misinformation severely undercut her credibility with the medical and public health communities,” writes John Timmer for ARS Technica.
Too many times, she would remain expressionless while standing or sitting next to Donald Trump during press conferences. People will not forget her seeming to support him — no matter how dangerous his comments.
Supposedly Dr. Birx believed the CDC’s recommendations of wearing a mask and social distancing. However, she was frequently seen on stage without wearing one. Unfortunately, she did not publically admonish Trump or Pence when they failed to follow the CDC guidelines.
Birx was also surprisingly without comment when Trump reportedly announced he contracted the virus.
Based on her lack of public guidance regarding super-spreader events at the White House or rallies, Dr. Birx seemed to be over her head as a public figure during the coronavirus pandemic.
Granted, President Trump is a bully and intimidating when he wants something done his way, but others on the task force managed to speak out. One might ask why she remained quiet since the coronavirus is not the first pandemic during her career.
She is a globally recognized researcher, and she made a notable difference during the three-decades-long fight against AIDS.
Dr. Birx’s Noteable Career in Service to the United States
Dr. Birx’s retirement ends a long and, up until she served the Trump administration, highly respected career. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree at Houghton College and her Medical degree at Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 1980.
Her service to the country includes service as an active duty reserve officer in the United States Army from 1980-1994. Between 1994 and 2008, as an active duty “regular army,” she achieved Colonel’s rank. She earned a Legion of Merit award for exceptional conduct in the performance of outstanding service and achievement.
As a physician, she worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1980-2005 in various capacities and departments. During 1986-89, Dr. Birx also worked as an investigator specializing in cellular immunology at the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Birx served as the director of the CDC Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), part of the agency’s Center for Global Health between 2005 and 2014.
President Barack Obama appointed Birx as the Ambassador-at-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program in 2014.
During her career, she served under six presidents; Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
WCPO 9 Cinncinatti: Dr. Birx will help with Biden transition, then ultimately plans to retire she says; by Sam Cohen
AP: Trump virus coordinator Birx seeks role in Biden government; by Aamer Madhani and Zeke Miller
Ars Technica: For Biden administration, Fauci’s in, but Birx is not; by John Timmer
AAAS News: The inside story of how Trump’s COVID-19 coordinator undermined the world’s top health agency; by Charles Piller
Featured and Top Image by Edwin J. Torres Courtesy of Phil Murphy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks Courtesy of Wikimedia – Public Domain License
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