Dr. Deborah Birx Told the White House that Coronavirus Surge Was Fading!

Deborah Birx, AIDS researcher, takes a prominent role in ...

Dear Commons Community,

I watched Chris Wallace’s interview with Donald Trump yesterday and in response to questions regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the President responded that the current rise in cases as “burning embers” and “flames,” and maintained that it was “under control.”  It appears he got this information from a report in mid-April that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, wrote that  commented  that the coronavirus pandemic would soon slow down.  The New York Times revealed in a report published Saturday that  Birx began describing the government’s response to the pandemic as “putting out the embers,” and the White House task force was convinced that another surge in infections wouldn’t happen until the fall.  As reported by the New York Times.

“Birx believed that the U.S. would see a peak in cases, followed by a slow and lasting decline, just as Italy has seen, the Times reported.

Her optimistic take on models assessing the virus apparently encouraged President Donald Trump to put pressure on states to relax regulations meant to slow the spread of the virus in mid-April, the Times reported.

The paper interviewed more than two dozen administration officials and reviewed emails and documents to uncover how the White House handled its response to the spread of COVID-19.

Birx reportedly began describing the government’s response to the pandemic as “putting out the embers,” and the White House task force was convinced that another surge in infections wouldn’t happen until the fall, senior administration officials told the Times. 

But Birx’s predictions were wrong.

According to the Times’ analysis, Birx’s assumption did not take into account states’ efforts to reopen prematurely.

Texas, which rolled back its restrictions, saw its largest increase in COVID-19 cases in a day in May, a record the state broke again in June.

Arizona reopened some businesses in early May, and the state’s number of average daily cases more than doubled.

By May 19, the U.S. was around 10,000 shy of hitting 100,000 total deaths related to the virus. Just over a week later, the country exceeded that grave milestone.

Despite the surge in cases, Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany continue using the phrasing that Birx reportedly used to describe the surges.

In late June, McEnany told reporters at a press briefing that the administration was “aware there are embers that need to be put out,” arguing that the U.S. was “uniquely equipped” to handle the increase in cases over the summer.

In an interview on Sunday, Trump described the current rise in cases as “burning embers” and “flames,” though he maintained that it was “under control.”

Trump also said that the virus and pandemic would just “disappear.”

“I’ll be right eventually,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday. “You know, I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ And I’ll be right.”

Trump made similar false predictions in February, saying that the virus would “miraculously” go away by April and that the virus is “going to disappear … like a miracle.”

The U.S. has so far had 3.7 million cases and 140,000 deaths, the most known cases of COVID-19 in the world, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.”

Birx’s credibility has just taken a big hit!

As a side note, Chris Wallace pushed Trump on a number of issues during the interview but I thought he let the President off the hook a bit on the pandemic.  Trump insisted that the rise in cases was due strictly to the fact that the United States does more testing than any other country.  How does the President explain that with 140,000 coronavirus deaths, our country has twenty percent of the deaths globally while only having five percent of the world population.


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