After she warned Americans to limit their Thanksgiving travel to see family, Dr. Deborah Birx gathered with her own family at her vacation home, according to numerous news reports.
As coronavirus cases rose before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, White House coronavirus task force member Birx told Americans to “be vigilant” and limit celebrations to only our immediate households.
It turns out, this warning did not apply to Birx herself.
Birx traveled the day after Thanksgiving to one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island in Delaware, according to the Associated Press.
According to AP, “She was accompanied by three generations of her family from two households. Birx, her husband Paige Reffe, a daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren were present.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised before the Thanksgiving holiday to not travel and mingle indoors with families of different households.
The CDC advised, “People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households.”
The AP noted how it was difficult for COVID-19 task force member Birk to follow her own warnings.
“Even in Birx’s everyday life, there are challenges meeting that standard,” the AP noted.
“She and her husband have a home in Washington,” AP observed.
“She also owns a home in nearby Potomac, Maryland, where her elderly parents, and her daughter and family live, and where Birx visits intermittently.”
The AP added, “In addition, the children’s other grandmother, who is 77, also regularly travels to the Potomac house and returns to her 92-year-old husband near Baltimore.”
Discovering that Birx went against the CDC advisement during the Thanksgiving holiday could impede her moral credibility going forward.
According to The Hill, Birx refused to be interviewed by the AP, but did say in a statement, “I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” but also said her family shared a meal together while at the Delaware home.
Further, “Birx said that all of the gathered family members belonged to her “immediate household” but also said they lived in two different homes.”
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, told the AP that “To me this disqualifies her from any future government health position.”
“It’s a terrible message for someone in public health to be sending to the American people,” Rasmussen added.
Lawrence Gostin is a public health expert at Georgetown University’s law school. Gostin has worked with Birx professionally for many years and believes she likely took the proper precautions.
But Gostin also noted,“It’s extraordinarily important for the leaders of the coronavirus response to model the behavior that they recommend to the public.”
“We lose faith in our public health officials if they are saying these are the rules but they don’t apply to me,” he added.
Exactly. How can these health officials ask Americans to take precautions that they do not follow themselves?
Why should any American respect the warnings of Dr. Deborah Birx ever again?
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