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Member of White House's COVID Task Force announces resignation plans amid controversy

1 year 3 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, December 23 2020 Dec 23, 2020 December 23, 2020 12:35 PM December 23, 2020 in News
Source: BBC News

WASHINGTON - A health expert who often shares the spotlight with her Coronavirus Task Force colleague, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is resigning following public criticism of her decision to attend a family gathering during an especially troublesome period of the pandemic.  

While Dr. Fauci and the CDC outspokenly recommended avoiding holiday gatherings with individuals outside of one's household, his fellow Task Force member, Dr. Deborah Birx, attended a family Thanksgiving Dinner with family members who are not members of her personal household.

According to the BBC, the 64-year-old world-renowned Aids researcher explained that she and her husband simply left their home in Washington to check on another property they own in Delaware in hopes of preparing it for a potential sale, but while in Delaware, they took the opportunity to share a meal with their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. 

Dr. Birx told reporters, "My daughter hasn't left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months. They've become deeply depressed as I'm sure many elderly have as they've not been able to see their sons, their granddaughters. My parents have not been able to see their surviving son for over a year. These are all very difficult things."

But critics harped on the fact that just prior to the Thanksgiving holidays, Birx urged Americans to restrict gatherings to their immediate households. 

They also pointed out that while in Delaware, Birx appeared in an interview, during which she noted that some Americans had "made mistakes" over Thanksgiving by traveling and they "should assume they were infected."

After coming under fire for appearing to break her own rules, and ignore COVID recommendations from federal health officials, Birx decided to step down.   

"This experience has been a bit overwhelming," she said. "It's been very difficult on my family."

She has yet to announce the exact date of her resignation, but says she will assist the incoming Biden administration for a time, and then retire.

The BBC notes that on Tuesday evening, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted President Donald Trump's good wishes, saying he "has great respect for Dr Birx and likes her very much. We wish her well."

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