Report: Dr. Birx Told Trump In April That Coronavirus Would Soon Be Gone
The chief medical officer on the White House's coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, reportedly informed the Trump administration in April that the pandemic was declining and would not be a long term problem, according to Business Insider.
- A New York Times report from the weekend indicated that Birx claimed the virus would follow a similar trajectory in the U.S. as it did in Italy, an optimistic picture that was happily accepted by administration officials.
- However, unlike the U.S., lockdown measures lasted longer in Italy and were imposed unilaterally, which contributed to a decline in cases in the country while the U.S. still struggles with a growing number of cases.
- Per the Times report: "Colleagues described her as dedicated to public health and working herself to exhaustion to get the data right, but her model-based assessment nonetheless failed to account for a vital variable: how Mr. Trump's rush to urge a return to normal would help undercut the social distancing and other measures that were holding down the numbers.”
- President Trump reportedly sought to shift responsibility from the federal government to the states so that he could avoid potential political fallout.
- Business Insider reported that Trump “is thought to be no longer seeking the counsel of top public-health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, another key member of the task force.”