‘I Will Retire’: Dr. Birx Will Not Seek Role In Biden Administration

Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATS... Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
December 22, 2020 2:36 p.m.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Tuesday that she will not seek a role in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

She cited concerns about the treatment of her family after reports surfaced that she traveled to join family over Thanksgiving weekend after publicly discouraging Americans from making trips during the recent holiday.

“I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in and then I will retire,” Birx told Newsy in a clip of an interview posted on Tuesday morning.

Birx said that her experience serving on the task force has been “overwhelming” and has placed particular strain on her daughter and parents, who faced backlash for Thanksgiving plans that went against guidelines set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Before departing for her own festivities, which included a trip to one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island in Delaware a day after Thanksgiving, Birx had publicly urged Americans to “be vigilant” and limit celebrations to “your immediate household.”

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Days later, Birx was joined by three generations of her family from two households, including her husband, a daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren, according to the Associated Press.

“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, they’ve become deeply depressed, as I’m sure many elderly have,” the health official said Tuesday, appearing to respond to the reports about her holiday gatherings. “These are all very difficult things.”

Birx’s revelation that she will not seek a role in the incoming administration is a departure from her earlier remarks. Last month, Birx reportedly expressed a desire to maintain a key role on the White House coronavirus task force when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in January.

While Dr. Anthony Fauci’s continued presence on Biden’s incoming task force was locked in earlier this month, a path forward was less clear for his colleague. One transition official had even told Politico last month that the President-elect’s team intended to do some “house cleaning” amid the transition from COVID-19 advisers appointed by President Donald Trump.

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: