Move over airhead anti-Trump celebs like Bette Midler and Jon Cusack. The new rages are medical professionals who are working with the president to stop the virus. They’re not super rich nor actors. Yet both have gripped the nation’s imagination, attention, and affection.
By now you know we’re speaking of Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, heads of the president’s Coronavirus Task Force and stars of the daily White House press briefings.
Dr. Birx is a 63 year old former U.S. Army Colonel from Carlisle, Pennsylvania who holds an MD from Penn State. Her Army career spanned 1980-2008. She’s worked at the top echelons of the military’s Walter Reed Hospital in DC, often working with Fauci on AIDS research.
She’s headed up programs at the National Institute of Health and led the team looking for an AIDS vaccine. From 2005-2014 she led the CDC’s Global AIDS team. Birx has been awarded the Legion of Merit twice over.
Dr, Fauci has been one of the lead research physicians in the world since the 1980s, taking the lead from the beginning in fighting the AIDS epidemic. He is 79 years old and holds an MD from Cornell.
He has been head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases since 1984. The New York Times has called him “the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases.” He holds every honor and prize available in the medical field including the Jung Prize, the Lasker Award, and the Medal of Freedom.
In a positive aspect of this virus, both have become media stars and exemplars to million of Americans. Websites and blogs are devoted to them. Fans abound in their admiration. The calm and professional presentations given by the duo give the country confidence we can get through the crisis. Birx brings a data-driven competence to the team, while Fauci thinks quick on his feet. Both refuse to be drawn into politics, though Fauci seems to have little patience with stupidity.
As America navigates our way through the virus, the president has again chosen well in staffing the team that will help us come through whole and ready for a strong recovery.