02 January 2021 Posted By : Virgilio Marin

Top coronavirus task force official flouts own travel advice

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been accused of violating her own travel guidelines after spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with her family, something that the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) and even Birx herself have discouraged.

Birx and her husband traveled to one of their vacation homes in Delaware the day after Thanksgiving. They stayed there for two days with their daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren, who live in a different house and are therefore considered members of another household under CDC’s guidelines.

“Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit… People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households,” read the CDC website.

The agency has been reminding Americans not to travel over the holidays and to avoid any indoor activities with members of different households. Birx herself seconded the guidelines in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, saying people should “take it upon [themselves] to be restrictive” about how they spend their holiday time.

Many health officials condemned Birx’s actions and said she should be held to a higher standard given her prominent role in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Birx claims innocence despite evidence indicating otherwise

Birx issued a statement acknowledging that she went to her Delaware property. But she insisted that the purpose of her visit was to prepare the winterization of the place before a potential sale, which Birx said she wasn’t able to do due to her busy schedule.

“I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” Birx said. Though she did admit that her family shared a meal together while in Delaware, Brix maintained that everyone on the trip belongs to her “immediate household.”

Birx, however, previously stated that her daughter’s family lives in a different house. She and her husband currently reside in Washington but has a home in nearby Potomac in Maryland, where her elderly parents and her daughter’s family live. Birx initially called the Potomac home a “three-generation household (formerly four-generation household).”

She also said in early April that she couldn’t visit her Potomac house when one of her grandchildren had a fever. “I did not go there,” said Birx while standing next to President Donald Trump. “You can’t take that kind of risk.”

Since then, she has resumed her visits to the house even though her job makes her an “essential worker” who has a high risk of infection. Birx has been traveling extensively, often to coronavirus hot spots, and has an office in the White House, where several staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

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