Birx traveled over Thanksgiving weekend after warning Americans to limit celebrations to household
White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx traveled to her Delaware vacation home during the Thanksgiving weekend despite advising people to celebrate the holiday with only those in their immediate household.
The Associated Press reported that Birx traveled with family members from two other households. Birx told the AP in a statement the purpose of the trip was to winterize the property before an upcoming sale.
“I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” Birx said, adding that her family shared a meal while in Delaware.
Birx said that all of the gathered family members belonged to her “immediate household” but also said they lived in two different homes.
According to federal guidelines, Birx’s role makes her an “essential worker.” Her position requires her to travel across the country, and she has visited 43 states, often at coronavirus hot spots, the AP reported. She also maintains an office at the White House, where several COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred.
Birx has stated that she keeps herself and her family safe through isolating, mask-wearing and regular testing.
She is among the lawmakers and officials who have been criticized for traveling or dining out despite sending similar warnings to people to stay at home.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) apologized after facing backlash for traveling to Mississippi over the Thanksgiving weekend despite telling his residents to stay put.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) faced condemnation for attending a 12-person party after urging people to avoid such gatherings. The governor later apologized for his attendance.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) altered his in-person Thanksgiving plans after he received backlash for saying his 89-year-old mother and two daughters were traveling to Albany to celebrate the holiday.