Dr. Birx to Newsmax: Biden Must Deal With Ongoing Pandemic First

Dr. Birx to Newsmax: Biden Must Deal With Ongoing Pandemic First dr deborah birx speaks at a white house press briefing in 2020 Dr. Deborah Birx (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 19 May 2022 10:54 AM

The Biden administration must stop planning for the next pandemic and deal with the one that's still happening by treating all hospitalizations and deaths as a "failure of programming," former White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Newsmax on Thursday.

"How we turned around the HIV pandemic across the world is we treated every new infection as a failure of our programming," Birx, the author of the new book, "Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, COVID-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It's Too Late," said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "When you take that approach, you find out what the barriers are, and they're not simplistic barriers that keep coming out, that these are red counties versus blue counties. It is much more complex than that."

Birx added that she learned from the first year of the pandemic that she wished there was more accounting of hospitalizations and deaths, versus the aggregate number of cases.

She said there were "a lot of innovative new things" such as that were accomplished during the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic, there were mistakes as well.

"In January and February [2020], we got very behind, just like New York City right now is reacting late," said Birx. "When you get behind community spread, you really can't prevent the hospitalizations and deaths, and we're not tailoring the information to the people who are most at risk. So we really lost a lot of time in January and February."

She said she wrote her book to talk about the innovations that got lost in the politics of the situation.

"I wanted people to see the solutions that were found both at the federal government level, what gaps were there, but solutions were found at the state level, amazing solutions by governors and mayors, both Democrat and Republican," said Birx. "This partisanism is hiding the fact that we do have solutions and tools on the ground that we need to use effectively."

Birx, in her book, criticizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for initially reacting to COVID-19 as being like the flu, and for its failure to divide duties among agencies, reports CNN. She attributes some of the issues to Director Robert Redfield's being a Trump administration "political appointee."

When asked on Newsmax if she thinks Americans will ever fully trust the CDC again, Birx responded that she spent 16 years at the agency after asking for a transfer there during the AIDS crisis.

"They were paralyzed by being at their computers and desk and looking at data rather than being on the ground and figuring out what worked and what didn't work. And I think that's the kind of solution-based approach that I brought, having battled pandemics around the globe," Birx said.

Birx was hesitant, however, to criticize Dr. Anthony Fauci, who quickly became the leading spokesperson for the virus and achieved nationwide celebrity status.

"Think there are many faces of the viruses," she said. "Fauci and I go back almost four decades. I think he had a remarkable background on how to accelerate vaccines and treatment and get that out to the country."

And that, combined with her background and Dr. Redfield allowing information to get to the "ground level," where it could be implemented, said Birx.

"I think [Fauci] was disproportionately available to the American people," she said. "That's why I went out and did a lot of local work because he was doing the nationals, but that didn't keep me from getting the information out to the American people, and I think that's what's important.

"I think that's what's missing now is real transparency in the information so that Americans know what they need to do right now."

And still, to this day, "people over 70 are at the most risk to this virus, and we just need to get that information out to them," said Birx. "I really wanted to make sure that people knew in rural areas that the issue is they don't have access to healthcare."


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