Last weekend the New York Times published a story heavily focused on downplaying the credibility of Dr. Deborah Birx and her work in the White House to combat Wuhan coronavirus.
In the piece, Birx is essentially accused of being too optimistic about slowing the spread of the virus in conjunction with reopening the economy. Dr. Fauci is lauded as the "more authoritative voice" who was "muzzled" for having a pessimistic view.
"In his decades of responding to outbreaks, Dr. Fauci, a voracious reader of political histories, learned to rely on reports from the ground. Late at night in his home office this spring, Dr. Fauci, who declined to comment for this article, dialed health officials in New Orleans, New York and Chicago, where he heard desperation unrecognizable in the more sanguine White House meetings," it says. "By contrast, Dr. Birx regularly delivered what the new team was hoping for."
The story falsely claims the White House Wuhan coronavirus task force started winding down their efforts in May and only credits Fauci with paying attention to local issues. The reality is, over the past six weeks Birx has visited nearly a dozen hot spot states in order to gather real-time, on the ground research. While Dr. Fauci stays busy in Washington D.C. with fluffy profile interviews and baseball, Dr. Birx hasn't just been making phone calls, she's meeting with local leaders to solve real problems.
"Dr. Birx, for weeks, has been sending out this data to governors - 400 pages of data to our governors so that they have the best information to make the best decisions for their people in their respective states. I have not seen anyone poring over data the way Dr. Birx has," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier this week.
The message from the White House was never to shut down indefinitely, but instead to shut down long enough to prepare hospitals for surges of patients. Ventilators were built, personal protective equipment was produced en masse, testing has been provided (although turnaround times need improvement) and therapeutics were and still are being rapidly researched. Responsibility for implementation was passed to the states, after all, each one has different populations, demographics and health needs. As a result, Americans have been able to slowly return to work and their lives. Dr. Birx in particular has always noted hot spots will emerge.
The New York Times attempted to undermine the credibility and leadership of Dr. Birx, but in the process only further destroyed their own.