Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said on Dec. 22 that she plans to retire. She declined to give a timeline.
A White House spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
In an interview with Newsy, Birx said the scrutiny of her personal life during the pandemic has taken a toll on her. She recently drew criticism when she admitted to visiting family for Thanksgiving after repeatedly warning others against traveling for the holiday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned against traveling during the holidays. Their website states: “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
Birx had visited one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island, in Delaware, accompanied by three generations of her family from two different households, The Associated Press reported.
She told AP at the time: “I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving.” She said they did share a meal while at the house during the roughly 50-hour visit.
Birx said everyone on the trip was part of her “immediate household,” even though they live in two different houses.
In her Dec. 22 interview, Brix said that her experience as a civil servant “has been a bit overwhelming.”
“I think what was done in the past week to my family … they didn’t choose this for me,” she added.
Birx was one of the top two most influential health officials on the White House task force. She and Dr. Anthony Fauci convinced President Donald Trump to push for a two-week shutdown earlier this year in a bid to curtail the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.
Both health officials called on Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Nov. 29, in an interview from Delaware, Birx said some Americans had traveled to different states for Thanksgiving.
“Some people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period,” she said. “So if you’re young and you gathered, you need to be tested about 5 to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.