Home Uncategorized Deborah Birx’s first encounter with Donald Trump lasted just 30 seconds as he rocked on Fox News

Deborah Birx’s first encounter with Donald Trump lasted just 30 seconds as he rocked on Fox News

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Dr. Deborah Birx’s first meeting with President Donald Trump about COVID-19 lasted just 30 seconds before he lost interest and turned the channel to Fox News, Birx wrote in her new memoir.

Birx, a top public health expert and diplomat known for her work on HIV/AIDS, was persuaded by Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger to leave her post at the State Department as the Global Response Coordinator against AIDS in the United States to serve as the coordinator of the White House’s new coronavirus task force.

Birx’s purpose in this meeting, she wrote, was to impress upon Trump the urgency of the situation and to convey that the highly contagious and deadly COVID-19 virus, which could be widely spread by those with no symptoms, had nothing to do with the seasonal flu. .

But when Birx finally caught Trump’s eye in the crowded room, things didn’t go as she had hoped.

“Mr. President, it’s not like the flu. It’s way more serious than the flu. We have to shape our response differently,” Birx recalled when telling Trump.

Trump, she wrote, gave a “glib face” with a smile before replying, “Well, the people I talk to say it won’t be worse than the flu.”

“Mr. President, I don’t know who you are talking to, but I have evidence to fully support the conclusion that this outbreak will be nothing like seasonal flu or even pandemic flu. This virus is very deadly” , she said. mentioned.

“Well, they’re good people,” he replied, according to Birx. “Smart people. I trust these people. They know what they’re saying.”

Birx repeated his concerns about the virus, but Trump lost interest.

“His eyes go back to his TV screens. He grabs the remote and someone’s voice from Fox News enters what passed for a conversation between us,” Birx wrote. “I can’t hear the rest. Someone takes a few steps towards me and waves me towards the door. I had less than thirty seconds to speak with the president.”

Birx wrote that other presidents she had worked for, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, “had the ability to shift gears and direct their focus in ways that President Trump did not. “.

“I’m not going to change it,” she wrote. “I have to change my approach. Experience has taught me that you have to meet people where they are.”

In the book “Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late,” published Tuesday, Birx details both his own tumultuous experience on the COVID-19 task of the White House Strength and the many flaws and missteps in the Trump administration’s handling of the virus.