Dr. Deborah Birx announces retirement after bending Covid rules
New York, New York - Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, announced Tuesday that she will retire, days after she was accused of bending her own rules with a Thanksgiving weekend gathering at a beach house.
Birx (64) said she would stay in her role until President-elect Joe Biden (78) takes office.
"I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in, and then I will retire," Birx told Newsy.
The well-known pandemic expert conceded that critical news accounts of the gathering at her family’s Delaware beach house took an "overwhelming" toll.
"I will have to say that this experience has been a bit overwhelming," Birx said. "It’s been very difficult on my family."
Birx visited the beach home over the holiday weekend with members of more than one household in apparent violation of Centers for Disease Control restrictions, The Associated Press reported.
She admitted being taken aback by the harsh criticism over the visit, which she insisted was misplaced.
Like millions of Americans, she said her family has paid a heavy price during the months-long pandemic.
"They’ve tried to be supportive. But to drag my family into this, when my daughter hasn’t left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months," Birx said. "These are very difficult things."
Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci (79) became household names to Americans as the most trusted medical figures when coronavirus first spread across the US last winter.
The pair, who previously worked together on the AIDS fight, often appeared alongside President Donald Trump (74) at his nightly press briefings in the early days of the pandemic.
Birx drew criticism for appearing to be much more deferential to Trump and reportedly made ill-founded predictions that the country could keep the virus under wraps in the spring.
Cover photo: imago images / ZUMA Wire