Politics & Policy

Dr. Birx Announces She Will Retire after Holiday Travel Controversy

Dr. Deborah Birx sits during President Trump’s remarks during an Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit in Washington, D.C., December 8, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, announced Tuesday that she will retire shortly, citing the criticism she received over the weekend for traveling to visit her relatives over the holidays, violating her own coronavirus guidelines.

In an interview with Newsy, Birx said she will assist the Biden administration as the president-elect prepares to take office but then plans to bow out.

“I want the Biden administration to be successful,” Birx said. “I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in and then I will retire.”

Reports broke Sunday that Birx had gathered with extended family the day after Thanksgiving at her vacation home on Fenwick Island, Delaware after urging Americans to gather for the holidays with only “your immediate household.”

“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,” she said of the criticism she received for flouting her own guidelines. “It has been very difficult on my family.”

“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,” she added.

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