Now that Dr. Deborah Birx is working in the private sector, the former Trump White House coronavirus response coordinator is speaking out on that one particular, infamous moment during one of the former President’s Coronavirus Task Force press conferences that no one will soon forget.
Yes, we’re talking about the bleach thing.
Our childrens’ history books will likely feature a segment on that one the President of the United States publicly raised the possibility of injecting human beings with household disinfectants like bleach to help combat a global pandemic.
While Trump was positively slammed by the media and the general public for his suggestion that day — so much so that the comments became a symbolic mark of his overall response to the delay pandemic — Dr. Birx found herself at the center of a whole lot of deserved ridicule and criticism for the fact that she didn’t really do much to combat such categorically false and downright dangerous information.
However, now that the days of the Trump administration are over, it seems that Dr. Birx is speaking out and offering up an explanation for her reaction, or lack thereof, on that fateful day.
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“Frankly, I didn’t know how to handle that episode,” the former member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force said during an interview with ABC News’ Terry Moran for ABC News Live’s The Breakdown. “I still think about it every day.”
Birx claimed that her almost 3 decades of military service kicked in during that moment and she only piped up long enough to say “not a treatment” when the then-President turned and asked her if ultraviolet rays and heat could somehow be utilized to combat the coronavirus infection in human beings.
“You can see how extraordinarily uncomfortable I was,” Dr. Birx explained, claiming that, at the time, the now-former President had been speaking to another official in the room. “Those of you who have served in the military know that there are discussions you have in private with your commanding officers and there’s discussions you had in public.”
Dr. Birx was a notable presence at Trump’s numerous COVID-19 briefings where she and Dr. Anthony Fauci were often stuck navigating Donald’s relentless downplaying of the deadly disease. However, unlike Dr. Fauci, Birx was a political appointee that could be fired by the President at a moment’s notice.
In the interview, Birx claimed that she and Fauci “talked all the time” about “how to correct the record.”
“I can’t tell you how many discussions we had on, how do we get the message out realizing what’s happening at the most senior levels of the White House,” Deborah explained.
Birx announced in December that she was leaving her White House role, and while some sources with knowledge claimed that she has expressed willingness to work with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, she ultimately did not stay on in any official White House position when the transfer of power was made.
However, she did praise the new administration for their consistency and adherence to scientific facts regarding the pandemic since taking office.
“Whether it’s the CDC director or Dr. Fauci or President Biden or Vice President Harris, all of them and all of their spokespeople are communicating exactly the same pieces,” she stated, “and I think that is critically important.”
Birx noted that conflicting messages coming from the White House and health officials such as the CDC allow people “to give themselves permission to perhaps do things that may put other people at risk.”
She went on to applaud the former presidents, aside from Donald Trump, for their efforts to promote the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I hope President Trump lends his voice to that. I think it is important. But to every Trump supporter out there: Protect yourself, protect your family. Get vaccinated.”
Since her departure from the White House, Dr. Birx has taken on several roles within the private sector.
While I’m not sure if this is enough to pay penance for the disasters she essentially ignored under the Trump administration, perhaps it is a start.
You can watch the clip here:
Featured image via screen capture