Dr. Birx: Don’t Blame Me For That A-Hole’s Covid Response, God Knows I Tried
The best news so far during the country's struggle with COVID-19 is that the president is no longer maliciously stupid. Everybody rejoice! It's a brand new day: Joe Biden respects science and won't peddle homemade bleach remedies to the public. Dr. Anthony Fauci already looks tanned, rested, and 10 years younger.
NEW: Dr. Fauci on TRUMP vs. BIDEN approach to science: "The idea that you can get up here and...let the science sp… https://t.co/qH8Ajx1smo— John Kruzel (@John Kruzel)1611264974.0
Dr. Fauci said last week that he took no pleasure in contradicting whatever nonsense came out of the previous White House occupant's mouth. He added that it is "somewhat of a liberating feeling" to “let the science speak" and not worry about “repercussions" like he's some common Galileo.
Former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx also had to manage the psychosis of a deranged president who cared more about his precious klan-bake rallies than human life. During an interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS's "Face the Nation," Dr. Birx admitted she frequently considered escaping the last administration's horror show.
BIRX: I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day? Colleagues of mine that I had known for decades — decades — in that one experience, because I was in the White House, decided that I had become this political person, even though they had known me forever.
This is probably because Dr. Birx was too often an apologist for an unapologetically moronic president. Here's what she said in March:
"[The president's] been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data," Birx said. "I think his ability to analyze and integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues."
It's hard to take anyone seriously after they repeat these lies with a straight face.
Brennan asked Dr. Birx if she believed the former president understood the gravity of the pandemic. (We're not even sure he understands gravity.) Dr. Birx claimed COVID-19 had the Diet Coke-chugger's full attention in March, when he said he wasn't concerned at all about the virus and compared it to the seasonal flu. She apparently spent a great deal of time combating what she called “parallel data streams" (i.e. disinformation) from “outside advisers" (i.e. hacks). This persisted to the day she left the White House.
BIRX: I'm convinced there were parallel data streams because I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made. So I know that someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president. I don't know to this day who. But I know what I sent up and I know that what was in his hands was different from that.
Unfortunately for the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, it's likely that the “parallel set of data and graphics" came at least in part from Scott Atlas, the TV radiologist with zero infectious disease experience. Atlas dismissed mitigation measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing, and instead pushed the sociopathic “herd immunity" strategy. Jared Kushner might've chipped in with some stupid, as well. He bragged to Bob Woodward in April that "Trump's now back in charge. It's not the doctors." That's when Dr. Birx noticed to her horror that the administration was ignoring the guidance from actual scientists.
BIRX: The worst possible time you can have a pandemic is during a presidential election year.
That's only true if the president is a psychopath, like the last one. Hillary Clinton would've followed the science and saved lives, even if Republicans had exploited the situation and crushed her at the ballot box.
BIRX: I think once the country began to open and it was clear to me that [the administration wasn't] going to follow my really gated criteria that I had worked hard on. In calculating everything, with the slow reopening, I didn't think anyone could get to Phase 3 until August. And you can see in the stats that followed either that criteria or a similar criteria, that's how long it took them.
Dr. Birx admitted there were people in the White House and across the country who believed COVID-19 was a hoax. However, she stopped short of outright condemning her former boss for making the pandemic a partisan issue.
BIRX: You know, when you have a pandemic where you're relying on every American to change their behavior, communication is absolutely key. And so every time a statement was made by a political leader that wasn't consistent with public health needs, that derailed our response.
We all know which "political leader" was shooting rhetorical bleach into our veins. Although Dr. Birx was the coronavirus response coordinator, the White House stopped letting her "do national press" because she might say something to contradict their lies. Eventually, she was cut out of the loop completely.
BIRX: I had very little exposure to [the president].
Good for her. That's probably how she avoided catching COVID-19 at the International House of Coronavirus the former president was running. Dr. Birx said she was only one of two people who regularly wore a mask in the White House.
BIRX: People believed wrongly that testing would be adequate ... I think they believed that testing was a surrogate for a public health intervention.
Dr. Birx said there were “multiple communications about masking." She didn't have close access to the president because she was just a medical expert and probably because he doesn't respect women, but she pleaded with those close to him to wear a damn mask.
CBS “Face the Nation"
The above image of Margaret Brennan sums up how you'll feel watching Dr. Birx describe the last administration's incompetence and deceit. The full interview is worth your time, even if it's depressing to realize that 74 million Americans wanted this malignancy to continue.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."