Dr. Deborah Birx announces plans to retire after holiday travel scandal backlash against her
Beleaguered Dr. Deborah Birx, a leading White House expert on the coronavirus, has announced that she plans to retire after helping Joe Biden transition to the White House. This comes after being outed on Sunday for not following her own holiday travel guidance, calling the experience “overwhelming.”
Birx gave an interview to Newsy and said she would help the incoming Biden administration but then planned to retire. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any takers in the Biden administration that would welcome her input at this point.
“I want the Biden administration to be successful,” Birx said, noting that she has worked in the federal government since the Reagan administration in 1980.
“I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in and then I will retire,” she continued.
“I will have to say, as a civil servant, I will be helpful through a period of time, and then I will have to say, this experience has been a bit overwhelming. It has been very difficult on my family … I think what was done over the last week to my family.”
Birx, 64, is an infectious disease expert. She has infamously issued guidelines admonishing Americans to not travel or hold family gatherings during the holidays due to the pandemic. She violated her own edicts when she was joined by three different generations of family at one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island in Delaware the day after Thanksgiving.
She faced heated criticism for not following her own orders after publicly urging Americans in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to limit gatherings to “your immediate household.”
The CDC has warned Americans not to travel over the holidays and has discouraged indoor gatherings involving members of different households as infection rates continue to soar.
EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Deborah Birx tells @newsy that she is willing to help with the #Biden transition but ultimately plans to retire, citing her family's treatment over the past week. pic.twitter.com/yEPy9s0Tf9
— Amber Strong TV (@AmberCStrong) December 22, 2020
Birx, who is an internationally recognized AIDS researcher, had been pursuing a role in the incoming Biden administration, according to an Associated Press report from earlier this month. Given the massive backlash over her actions, Birx has now changed her mind due to the intense focus on her personal life.
Birx made her situation even worse by trying to justify her decision to travel to Delaware from Washington with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
“I think what was done in the past week to my family — you know, they didn’t choose this for me. They’ve tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this,” Birx stated.
“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 their sons, their granddaughters,” she said.
“My parents have not been able to see their surviving son for over a year. These are all very difficult things,” she added.
Birx does not appear to have any takers in the Biden administration on her desire to stay on. https://t.co/aURpjFgv1R
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 22, 2020
Birx also said she took her Thanksgiving trip to Delaware because her parents were so depressed they “stopped eating and drinking.” That justification is being ripped by people who said it was her coronavirus restrictions that prevented them from seeing their dying loved ones. Previously, she claimed the trip was to weatherize her home.
“My parents stopped eating and drinking because they were so depressed,” she complained to Newsy.
Birx was slammed online for being “tone deaf” and for suggesting that her circumstances justified her breaking her own task force’s rules even as they had far more significant consequences for many other families during the pandemic.
“My dad died of Covid surrounded by people in hazmat suits. He didn’t understand,” writer Mark Aldrich said.
“My mom couldn’t visit him. She is depressed. Birx’s parents felt depressed? I’m sorry. She still has a one parent surplus over my sister & me,” he wrote.
Peg Manley tweeted: “My mother died in March, we still haven’t buried her.”
Birx “hasn’t a clue,” Manley wrote. “We have all gone without family. Without celebrations.”
A man named Kristopher said the isolation was even worse for his 78-year-old father who lives alone.
“I haven’t been able to TRAVEL to see him in over 10 months. I’ve listened to the experts.
“WE CAN’T ALL DO WHATEVER THE F–K WE WANT and hope to defeat COVID,” he wrote.
“Why are you and your family special? At least your parents and daughter aren’t alone.”