Birx says she will help Biden team but plans to retire


Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Tuesday that she would help President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration “for a period of time” but ultimately plans to retire.

“I want the Biden administration to be successful. I’ve worked since 1980 in the federal government, first through the military then through [Health and Human Services] and then detailed to the State Department and detailed here, where I hope I was helpful,” Birx told Newsy in an interview.

“I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in and then I will retire, I will have to say, as a civil servant,” she added.

Birx said her experience on the task force has been “a bit overwhelming” and attributed her decision to ultimately retire to recent scrutiny of her family.

Her comments came after The Associated Press reported that Birx traveled with members of her family to Delaware over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans not travel during the holiday. Birx told the AP that she traveled to Delaware to winterize the property in order to sell it, and not to celebrate Thanksgiving.

In the interview with Newsy, Birx didn’t specifically mention the article but said her role had been difficult on her family and regretted that family members had been “dragged” into it. She did not offer up a timeline for her planned departure.

Birx was brought on by Vice President Pence to serve as coordinator of the task force in March, at the beginning of the outbreak in the United States. She was often present alongside other health officials at regular virus briefings before they were largely stopped in May.

Birx is a career public servant and was appointed by former President Obama to serve as the State Department’s global AIDS coordinator before her current role at the White House. Biden has not said whether he wants Birx to assume a role on his coronavirus team when he takes office in about a month.

Tags Biden transition Deborah Birx Joe Biden Mike Pence White House coronavirus task force
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