Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the nation's leading public health experts and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has announced her intent to retire.
What are the details?
Birx — who
came under fire
this week after it was revealed she flouted her own health guidance by traveling to Delaware over Thanksgiving weekend with three generations of her family from two separate households — said that the subsequent treatment of her family was a contributing factor in her decision.
In an interview with Newsy's Amber Strong on Tuesday, the 64-year-old Birx said she would assist the incoming Biden administration if they requested, but then after that she would retire.
"I want the Biden administration to be successful," she said. "I've worked since 1980 in the federal government, first through the military, then through [the Department of Health and Human Services], and then detailed to the State Department and detailed here, where I hope I was helpful. I will be helpful in any role people think I can be helpful in, and then I will retire."
According to the Washington Examiner
, Birx then commented on her infamous Thanksgiving trip, insisting that the purpose of the gathering was not to celebrate the holiday though acknowledging that the family members did enjoy a meal together.
"I have to say this experience has been a bit overwhelming," Birx said. "It's been very difficult on my family. I think what was done in the last week to my family, you know, they didn't choose this for me.
"You know, they've tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this, when my daughter hasn't left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months, they've become deeply depressed, as I'm sure many elderly have as they've not been able to see sons, their granddaughters. My parents haven't seen their surviving son for over a year," she added. "These are all very difficult things."
The backlash over Birx's gathering would not have been so strong if it weren't for the fact that she publicly urged Americans not to do the very thing she would go on to do. Hypocrisy from political leaders regarding coronavirus restrictions has been a major cause of the overall frustration.
On Nov. 20, in an interview with CNN, where she
Americans to "be vigilant" ahead of the holiday and limit gatherings to "your immediate household."
Then after the holiday passed, Birx
that those who ignored advice and gathered during Thanksgiving should assume they are infected and avoid elderly friends and family.
"We know people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period," Birx said. "If you're young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you're infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask."
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