'Her name should live in infamy': Conservative writer slams Dr. Birx for whitewashing her Trump support

'Her name should live in infamy': Conservative writer slams Dr. Birx for whitewashing her Trump support
White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator Deborah Birx delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)


During a recent interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Deborah Birx discussed some of the difficulties of being on Donald Trump's White House coronavirus task force in 2020 — when she avoided being openly critical of the then-president despite her frustration. Never Trump conservative Jonathan V. Last discusses that interview this week in his column for The Bulwark, arguing that she didn't do the United States any favor by keeping quiet when she wanted to speak out.

Birx, during the CNN interview, recalled a "very uncomfortable conversation" with Trump — who often downplayed the pandemic's severity during his final year in office. And she told Gupta that the COVID-19 death count in the U.S. "could have been mitigated or decreased substantially" if Trump's administration had taken different actions.

Birx's defenders have argued that by not being openly critical of Trump in 2020, she increased her chances of remaining on the task force — as speaking out more forcefully would have gotten her fired. And, the argument goes, Birx's expertise was more useful on the inside than it would have been on the outside. But Last believes that Birx did more harm than good by keeping quiet.

Dr. Birx drops bombshell about US Covid-19 deaths youtu.be

"I understand the idea that, in an imperfect world, sometimes you have to compromise yourself," Last writes. "Sometimes, you find that you can do more good working within the system. That's the impulse that motivated Jim Mattis and H.R. McMaster and a bunch of other people who took high-level jobs in the Trump administration."

The conservative columnist adds, "I can understand the argument that, by standing his ground and daring Trump to fire him, (Dr. Anthony) Fauci was taking a wise course of action. I get that. But whatever Birx was doing, she was also aiding and abetting Trump."

Last includes some video of Birx from 2020 — and in those clips, Last writes, it's obvious that Birx's efforts to remain in Trump's good graces only had the effect of encouraging his failed COVID-19 response and covering up his blunders.

"Deborah Birx is not a political actor," Last stresses. "She is not a know-nothing TV talking head. She is a scientist and a professional who knew better — who took an oath. Remember Deborah Birx and what she did. Her name should live in infamy."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.