‘Give her some slack’: Dr. Fauci defends Dr. Birx after critics say she should have stood up against Trump
Dr. Anthony Fauci supports colleague Dr. Deborah Birx after she was criticized for her defense of former President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
Birx was the White House Coronavirus response coordinator from late February 2020 until the end of Trump’s presidency.
And while Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – publicly clashed with the president over the importance of masks and lockdown restrictions, Birx avoided publicly contradicting Trump during her tenure.
But since she left the White House, she’s been more outspoken in her criticisms, saying thousands of lives could have been saved.
The turnaround has opened her up to criticism from both sides, with Trump opponents saying she should have spoken out earlier. Meanwhile, the former president has labeled her and Fauci as “ two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover up their bad instincts. ”
After her criticism, Trump called Birx “ a terrible medical adviser, ” claiming that he rarely took her advice.
During a performance on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on Wednesday, Fauci spoke out in defense of Birx.
“She was in a difficult situation,” Fauci said of Birx. “You really have to understand, she lived in the White House. She had an office on the lower floor of the West Wing.
‘And I think of course you say she could have done more, but it was really hard for her. She was a soldier. She understands the chain of command.
And I think if you ask her now, she would probably say she should have done more, but you really need to give her some leeway, as I do. She really had to, because she was in a difficult situation. ‘
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Dr. Anthony Fauci went on CNN Wednesday night to meet fellow Dr. Deborah Birx
Fauci and Birx teamed up for the White House Coronavirus Task Force under Trump
‘And I think if you ask her now she would probably say she should have done more, but you really need to give her some leeway, like I do,’ Fauci said of Birx to Chris Cuomo
Dr. Fauci stands up for Dr. Birx when asked if she should have said and done more:
“It was really hard for her … you really have to give her some leeway, like I do. It really has to be because she was in a difficult situation.” pic.twitter.com/NVIXco8ksj
– Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) April 1, 2021
Birx also faced criticism amid the pandemic for hosting a family gathering the day after Thanksgiving, despite the CDC’s advice not to travel.
One of Birx’s more memorable moments came when she pulled a face, as Trump suggested at a conference that a possible coronavirus treatment could be to inject people with a disinfectant.
Since leaving the government, Birx has been more actively speaking out about her time serving under Trump for the past year.
In a documentary airing on CNN on Sunday, Birx reveals a “ very uncomfortable ” phone call she had with Trump in August.
“It was a CNN report in August that received a terrible backlash,” Brix told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the documentary ‘COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out’.
“That was a really difficult time because everyone in the White House was angry with that interview and the clarity I brought to the epidemic,” Birx continued.
“I got a call from the president,” Birx detailed. “It was very uncomfortable, very direct and very difficult to hear.”
Birx flatly declined to say whether or not Trump was threatening her.
She appears to be referring to a conversation with CNN’s State of the Union presenter Dana Bash in August about the severity of the COVID-19 spread.
During that conversation, Birx warned that the US was entering a ‘new phase’ of the pandemic as the nation saw a higher number of cases.
For the upcoming documentary, Birx also notes that she believes fewer people should have succumbed to COVID-19 with a different response.
“I look at it this way – the first time we have an excuse,” Birx said of the first wave of COVID-related deaths. “There were about a hundred thousand deaths as a result of that original wave.”
“All the others, in my mind, could have been softened or diminished significantly,” she said.
Birx was often criticized during her tenure for not publicly reprimanding Trump more often
Donald Trump recently slapped both Fauci and Birx in a lengthy statement about them
Trump did not respond well to these comments, releasing a statement earlier this week insulting both Birx and Fauci.
Based on their interviews, I thought it was time to say something about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to disguise their bad instincts and wrong recommendations, which I have fortunately almost always rejected, ” Trump said.
“They had bad policy decisions that would leave our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine, endangering millions of lives.
Dr. Fauci was unable to pressure the FDA to speed it up. I was the one who got it done, and even the fake news media knows and reports this. ‘
According to Politics, it was not within Fauci’s authority to pressure the FDA to approve a vaccine more quickly.
Dr. Birx was a terrible medical advisor and so I rarely followed her advice, ” Trump continued in his statement.
‘Time has proved me right. I only detained Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx because they have worked for the US government for so long – they are like a bad habit! ‘
A former White House official commented on Trump’s statement and expressed surprise at his criticism of Birx.
“A bit of revisionist history from the former president,” said the anonymous official. “We all had our problems with Fauci and his media marathons, but very few people – President Trump included – had anything negative to say about Dr. Birx.”
While Birx is retired, Fauci continues to hold a government position and currently serves as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the United States so far, with a total of more than 30.46 million cases and 552,073 deaths.
More than 30 million cases of COVID-19 have occurred in the US, with more than 500,000 deaths