WASHINGTON D.C. – White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx is one of the leading voices still warning Americans about the rising spread of COVID-19, with new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all increasing sharply and steadily in recent weeks.
Birx appeared on this week’s edition of IN Focus to discuss Indiana’s efforts at slowing the spread of the virus, and the CDC’s recommendation that Americans avoid traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Every single gathering can become a spreading event because the level of asymptomatic spread,” warned Dr. Birx. “The person coming into your house, whether they are your aunt, your uncle, your cousin, your niece, could be infected and spreading the virus unknowingly.”
Birx joined Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other task force members Thursday evening for the group’s first media briefing in four months. After a contentious election and an uneven national response to the pandemic in recent months, Birx said it was time “the American people really knew how serious and how different” this fall surge was compared to earlier this year.
Birx was also asked if she’d be open to serving in the Biden administration next year, and whether the incoming President’s transition team should be getting more access to the task force during the transition process.
“I think it’s very important that the transition teams get to see the data analysis so that there’s a shared understanding of what’s happening across the country, county by county, hospital by hospital,” said Birx. “I think that time will come.”
As for her future? Birx said she wouldn’t rule out serving in the new administration.
“I’ve been a civil servant for 40 years in every administration since Ronald Reagan and that’s up to the incoming administration deciding if I can be helpful to them or not,” Birx said. “Certainly I would not leave in the middle of a crisis if needed.”
And on our rising case numbers here in Indiana, Birx said both the state and its residents were responsible for charting the safest course of action.
“There are things the state can do to mitigate this virus, but there are also things that each of us can do,” said Birx.
See more of our interview with Dr. Birx on this week’s edition of IN Focus which airs Sunday morning at 7:30am on CBS4 and again at 9:30am on FOX59.