Like a general and his staff in wartime, White House coronavirus response team members have become the front line strategic responders to the virus. The president, the vice president, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx bring a sense of articulate confident leadership to the country.
They all have their different roles to play in the effort, but as the national mood and psychology are vital factors in the fight, their cool demeanor assures the nation that the White House has the situation well in hand.
That’s one of the reasons the daily briefings have become a television ratings hit and have been slowly moving into more of a prime time slot.
Their manner contrasts sharply with that of the Democrats, whose panicked partisan response is only making the situation worse. How do the players fit in together on the team?
The president is the Chairman of the Board. He runs the big picture in his George Patton or Ike-like style, depending on the issue. He is decisive and calm, yet he brooks no silliness from the press or hysterical Democrats. He sets the pace and the message. The buck stops with him and he acts as a lighting rod for the opposition. America reacts well to his aggressive leadership style at this time of crisis.
Mike Pence is the loyal and reliable CEO. A Walter Bedell Smith to Trump’s Ike. He gets the job done and acts as point man on specific battles. He is efficient, self-effacing, and consciously fact-oriented. The country appreciates his solid performance and takes comfort in his Ward Cleaver demeanor.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recalls WWII Admiral of the Fleet William “Bull” Halsey. I’ve studied Halsey extensively, as my father served with him in WWII on the Third Fleet HQ, the U.S.S. New Jersey, at the largest naval battle in history at Leyte Gulf.
Fauci is a fighter, a bantam weight brawler who is in the thick of the conflict. Just as he was during the effort against AIDS, he will be leading from the front in finding a treatment and then possibly a vaccine. His is the kind of leadership pros appreciate and the country admires. You can tell, his staff would follow him to hell and back.
Dr. Deborah Birx is cheery and upbeat, yet still a completely professional high level Army doctor. Birx is perhaps the most nationally popular member of the staff team. Her concise but detailed briefings bring data to America in such a way that inspires confidence in a favorable final outcome and in her personally. She has no historical twin. She is sui generis.