Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Tuesday said she plans to retire in the near future, citing the backlash she’s faced since it was revealed she traveled out of state during Thanksgiving weekend.
Dr. Birx told Newsy in an interview that she plans to be “helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in” during the incoming Biden administration but that she will eventually retire thereafter.
“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 that this experience has been a bit overwhelming,” she said. “It’s been very difficult on my family.
“I think what was done in the last week to my family, you know, they didn’t choose this for me, you know, they’ve tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this — 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 have not been able to see their sons, their granddaughters. My parents haven’t seen their surviving son in over a year,” she said.
Her comments come two days after The Associated Press reported she traveled on Nov. 27 to one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island, Delaware, where she spent at least two days with three generations of her family.
Dr. Birx and her husband have a home in Washington and another in Potomac, Maryland. She told the AP that everyone involved in the trip belonged to her “immediate household,” but acknowledged that they live in two different homes. This, after she repeatedly urged Americans to limit holiday gatherings to people within their immediate households and to avoid nonessential travel.
“We did not hold the usual Thanksgiving dinner we have every year which includes 30-40 members of my extended family,” Dr. Birx said in a statement Monday. “In fact, I did not hold a Thanksgiving celebration whatsoever this year. 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.”