Just two days after it was revealed that Dr. Deborah Birx had broken her own COVID-19 rules by traveling to another state to visit family for Thanksgiving, she has announced that she will be retiring, adding that the backlash against her and her relatives has been “overwhelming.”
The White House coronavirus task force coordinator told Newsy that she will be retiring after she helps the Joe Biden administration make the transition to the White House.
“I want the Biden administration to be successful,” Birx said, adding that she has worked in the federal government since 1980, at the start of Ronald Reagan’s administration.
“I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in and then I will retire,” she continued. “I will have to say, as a civil servant, I will be helpful through a period of time, and then I will have to say, this experience has been a bit overwhelming. It has been very difficult on my family … I think what was done over the last week to my family.”
EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Deborah Birx tells @newsy that she is willing to help with the #Biden transition but ultimately plans to retire, citing her family's treatment over the past week. pic.twitter.com/yEPy9s0Tf9
— Amber Strong TV (@AmberCStrong) December 22, 2020
This comes after it was revealed on Sunday that Birx had broken her own travel guidance the day after Thanksgiving by gathering with three generations of her family at one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island in Delaware. This did not sit well with many, as Birx had spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving telling Americans to limit gatherings to “your immediate household.”
Birx tried to defend herself in the face of the backlash in a statement to Fox News.
“Like many Americans, I am the sole caregiver for my parents,” she said. “They live with me in my immediate household in Potomac, where my daughter and her family reside as well. We are all supporting each other and providing for each other during this difficult time.”
“We did not hold the usual Thanksgiving dinner we have every year which includes 30-40 members of my extended family. In fact, I did not hold a Thanksgiving celebration whatsoever this year,” Birx added. “My trip to Delaware after the Thanksgiving holiday solely focused on preparing the property for a potential sale. Members of my immediate household assisted in that as well.”
Birx had reportedly been pursuing a role in the Biden administration over the past few weeks, but the backlash she’s faced over the past few days appeared to have led to her changing her mind.
“I think what was done in the past week to my family — you know, they didn’t choose this for me. They’ve tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this,” Birx said in her Newsy interview.
“My daughter hasn’t left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months. They’ve become deeply depressed as I’m sure many elderly have as they’ve not been able to see their sons, their granddaughters,” she said. “My parents have not been able to see their surviving son for over a year. These are all very difficult things.”