Who is Dr. Birx? - COVID-19 Clinical Trial
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Who is Dr. Birx?

Dr. Deborah Birx has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in public health, but she didn’t become a household name until the coronavirus pandemic toppled life in America.  

The Trump Administration named Dr. Birx as the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, landing Dr. Birx squarely in the middle of the nation’s pandemic response.  

Dr. Birx’s Professional Background 

Dr. Birx is a global health official and physician who began her career in 1985 with the Department of Defense as a military-trained clinician in immunology. During this time, Dr. Birx focused on HIV/AIDS vaccine research and served as Assistant Chief of the Hospital Immunology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  

By 1996, Dr. Birx was appointed to serve as the Director of the U.S Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. She held this position until 2005, during which time she helped lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history. Known as RV 144 or the Thai trial, it provided the first pieces of supporting evidence of any vaccine’s potential effectiveness in preventing HIV infection.  

Thanks to her ground-breaking research, leadership, and management skills, Dr. Birx was awarded two U.S Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit Award.  

Over the next 10 years, Dr. Birx served as the Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS. This position made her responsible for 2,000 staff members as well as 45 international offices. With over 220 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and nearly 12 chapters in scientific publications to her name, Dr. Birx is known as the foremost expert in the industry.  

Above all, Dr. Birx developed and patented vaccines in the course of her career, skills that have become especially relevant in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Role in the Trump Administration 

In 2014, Dr. Birx became the U.S Global Aids Coordinator and U.S Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Now also known as Ambassador Birx, she has been appointed to the Office of the Vice President to aid “in the whole of government response to COVID-19 as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator.” 

As the coronavirus task force response coordinator, Dr. Birx works with other health experts and officials, such as Dr. Anthony Faucci, to shape the government’s response to SARS-CoV-2. Her partnership with Vice President Mike Pence is so close that Pence describes her as “his right arm”.  

Dr. Birx has spoken to the media on many occasions to share her thoughts on the pandemic and encourage continued caution. When asked about large crowds of protestors gathering without masks, she responded, “It’s devastatingly worrisome to me personally, because if they go home and infect their grandmother or grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or an unfortunate outcome they will feel guilty for the rest of their lives.” 

Dr. Birx concluded, “So we need to protect each other at the same time as we’re voicing our discontent.” 

She also encouraged millennials to stop the pandemic in its tracks. “They are the core group that will stop this virus. They are the group that communicates successfully independent of picking up a phone. They intuitively know how to contact each [other] without being in a large social gathering.” 

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths 'if we do ...


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