• Sona Chaturvedi

Birx Redemption Tour Falls Short


Photo Credit: Getty Images.

They were supposed to be the adults in the room. From John Kelly and Rex Tillerson to Gen. James Mattis and Dr. Deborah Birx, the men and women who entered the Trump Administration with sterling reputations were supposed to appease us. We weren’t supposed to worry about Donald Trump’s erratic and bizarre behavior, because they would swoop in and clean up the mess.


It didn’t work out too well for any of them. Or for us, for that matter. They all went down in flames and took their lifelong reputations with them. Every one of them, including the White House physician and the doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center. When it came to the biggest public health crisis this country has experienced in 100 years, no one except Dr. Anthony Fauci escaped the Trump administration’s disastrous response. Yes, sometimes people have to compromise themselves. We all know that. However, not to this extent. This especially includes Dr. Deborah Birx. She is on a tour now to revive her reputation, but no one should forget or forgive her for the role she played in the humanitarian catastrophe.


Less eloquently put, shame on her.


Birx may have started with good intentions. She had a stellar reputation in her field.


Now she, like the others, will only be remembered for enabling Trump, directly leading to the demise of more than 550,000 Americans, to say nothing of the millions more who have survived but suffered.


Whatever her intentions, she aided and abetted Trump at every turn.


Her words:


“Trump is so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data. I think his ability to analyze and integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit.” Whether or not she believed this is up for debate. Regardless, that does not sound like someone who was concerned for the American people. That sounds like someone who was appeasing Trump and concerned for her career advancement.


She consistently made mentions of his adept and quick thinking. She also took a cue from Trump to play fast and loose with the numbers.


“Over and over, the data she presented at White House press briefings was overly rosy or obviously misleading. She made claims such as stating that there were a ‘low level of cases’ in 40 percent of the country because 19 states had few cases. That is clearly misleading, for example, given that those 19 states represented only 7 percent of the country’s population,” wrote Jonathan V. Last for The Bulwark.


Now, she’s telling us a number of deaths were preventable. She made an appearance on CNN during her “revision” tour and insinuated that Trump bullied her, or at least that’s what she felt. Well, Trump also threatened Dr. Fauci, but he did not compromise his integrity. Dr. Fauci and his family were under constant threat from Trump supporters, and sycophant Steve Bannon even called for his beheading.


Her behavior is typical with this type of leadership, said Chauncy DeVega of Salon. “Instead of sharing this information with the American people and the world, Birx chose to be silent,” DeVega said. “By doing so, she became a collaborator and enabler of the Trump regime's evil. She shares responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Birx's defense is a common one among collaborators in fascist, authoritarian and other such regimes: ‘If I left or spoke out, matters would have been even worse. I was a moderating influence.’”


To forgive is natural. It’s taught to everyone as a paragon of virtue. However, some sins are unforgivable.


This is one of them. Birx should be held as accountable as everyone else in that administration who downplayed the virus or withheld the truth. She may have not committed a crime, but we can definitely punish her reputation by never forgetting.


Dr. Birx shouldn’t be fondly remembered. A well-respected doctor staked her reputation on Trump, and like all the others wound up on the wrong side of history.


She should have known better. She took an oath. Remember her for what she did, not what she says now.


It’s meaningless to more than 550,000 Americans and counting.