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Dr. Birx Did Some Sunday Shows. It Was ... Yep!
It's your Sunday Rundown!
It's another week of quarantine, caused by an infectious virus and the narcissistic and incompetent virus in the White House.
Since this pandemic began we have had two main medical experts dealing with Trump and trying to help the American people, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. While they have similar goals, their approaches to walking the tightrope between informing the public while soothing Trump's fragile ego have differentiated them. Dr. Fauci, for his part, has been respectful not to go out of his way to piss off the Hamburglar -In-Chief while also informing the public. He has passed on actual real information during Trump's coronavirus briefings. For this, and for being an honest broker in this pandemic, he was rewarded by getting his wish to be portrayed on "Saturday Night Live":
But what of Dr. Birx? Well, Dr. Birx has taken a different tack. Appearing on the Sunday shows, Birx appears to have decided defending the idiocy of Trump is more important than her decades of medical credibility. At least that's what it looked like.
On CNN's "State Of The Union," host Jake Tapper asked Birx a few questions about contact tracing and testing, then asked about Trump's batshit advice about disinfectants to treat COVID-19, presumably in order to give Birx an opportunity to correct the disinformation. Birx decided to cover for Trump instead:
Dr. Deborah Birx: This is not just about diagnosing cases you see www.youtube.com
BIRX: Well, first, that was a dialogue he was having between the DHS scientist and himself for information that he had received and he was discussing. We have made it clear, and he -- when he turned to me, I made it clear, and he understood, that it was not as a treatment. And I think that kind of dialogue will happen. I think what got lost in there, which very -- is unfortunate, I think, in what happened next is, that study was critically important for the American people. And you say, why was that important? Because we had an MIT study just from a few weeks ago that said -- that suggests, when people are talking and singing, aerosolized virus could be moving forward. What this study showed for the first time is that sunlight can impact that aerosolization outside. This -- this is why we asked them to do it. We're trying to understand why people should be wearing masks. You're wearing masks because you could have asymptomatic infection, and you will decrease your transmission to others. And I think the half-life in the sunlight is very important as we move forward to really understand how we can effectively create decontamination in different environments.
TAPPER: Yes. No, look, I get it. And I understand the importance of that study that the DHS official was discussing from the lab in Maryland about the effect of sunlight on having or, even more effectively, the life of coronavirus, the effect of disinfectants on nonporous solids, like doorknobs. But that's not what the president was musing about. He was talking to about ways to take that science and somehow turn it into injecting UV light or disinfectants into the human body, which, as you know, especially with disinfectants, can be lethal. And the CDC had to issue a statement. Lysol had to issue a statement. I understand that you're taking a generous approach to this when it comes to President Trump musing aloud. But this is potentially dangerous. I mean, poison control centers got calls from people, and they had to issue statements saying, do not internally use disinfectants. As a doctor, doesn't that bother you that you have to even spend any time discussing this?
BIRX: Well, I think it bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we're missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing, as an American people, to continue to protect one another. And we should be having that dialogue about asymptomatics. We should be having that dialogue about this unique clotting that we're seeing.
OK sure, the problem is definitely not that Trump delivered such a shitshow of misinformation that CDC and Lysol had to issue statements to tell people not to listen to the president of the United States .
Of course, Birx's excuse is just horseshit. Moving on!
Birx also went on NBC's "Meet The Press," where she got less pushback from Chuck Todd because of course. Watch it if that's what you'd like to do.
But you know who had zero time for any bullshit this weekend? Andrea Mitchell, who had some smoke for Birx and anyone else passing misinformation or not calling it out strongly enough:
MITCHELL: [W]hen Dr. Birx said to you today that sunlight does kill the virus, she is perpetuating an unscientific, untested single study presented by a non-scientist from the Department of Homeland Security which led to the president, as she put it, not fully digesting the data. She needed to be very clear on disavowing it. And to this point, she still has not been even this morning.
And that is what happened with Dr. Birx on Sunday. On Saturday, she went on Fox News and complained that the media's coronavirus headlines are "slicey and dicey."
So ... yep!
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