Remember Dr. Deborah Birx? While Dr. Anthony Fauci stole most of the spotlight the moment COVID-19 became a serious issue, Birx brought up the rear. She was often seen as the more reasonable and less political of the two. Of course, as a lifelong Democrat, such assumptions were always foolhardy. And as if to make sure no one suffered under that illusion, she appeared today to make a ridiculous claim about Donald Trump and the coronavirus.
According to Birx, had measures she suggested been implemented earlier, 130,000 lives could have been saved. But the Bad Orange Man was just too focused on the election.
More than 130,000 American lives could have been saved with swifter action and better coordinated public health messages after the virus’ first wave, Birx told lawmakers. https://t.co/HMKDbvVRrK
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 26, 2021
As the Washington Post reveals (without a fact-check):
Birx, who sat for interviews with the subcommittee on Oct. 12 and 13, also detailed advice that she said the White House ignored late last year, including more aggressively testing younger Americans, expanding access to virus treatments and better distributing vaccine doses in long-term care facilities.
More than 130,000 American lives could have been saved with swifter action and better coordinated public health messages after the virus’s first wave, Birx told investigators.
“I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30-percent-less to 40-percent-less range,” Birx said.
Everything she’s saying here is pure supposition. By what evidence is she stating that we could have decreased fatalities by 30-40 percent? Where’s her statistical analysis? Like Fauci, Birx is notorious for just saying things while hiding behind her credentials, and her numbers here have no real backing at all.
But let’s game this out. Testing was already incredibly widespread by late last year, which is the period she’s talking about here. How would expanded testing of younger adults, who made up a small minority of total deaths, have saved over 130,000 lives? If the suggestion is that it would have somehow limited community spread, that seems incredibly unlikely given what we’ve seen in 2021.
As to the topic of pushing therapeutics, that was Trump’s main thrust aside from the vaccines. It was the media who chose to trash any and all treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, which is now proven to be somewhat effective if administered early enough. At the time, anything that could be seen as helping slow the pandemic was bad because it would be seen as helping Trump. Further, the president is not in charge of approving medication. In fact, any time Trump got within a mile of the bureaucracy handling that, he was accused of politicizing it. Birx’s criticism on that front simply doesn’t hold water.
Past that, her assertion about expanding vaccines into nursing homes makes no sense. The vaccine was not even widely available until January of 2021, and the administration did triage it to long-term care facilities as soon as it was possible to do so. Is she suggesting Trump didn’t get the vaccines out fast enough even as he was being accused at the time of rushing the vaccines? That’s very convenient, right?
Lastly, everything else she claims should have been implemented would be unconstitutional. There’s a reason not even Joe Biden himself has used the federal government to mandate masks and capacity requirements. Yet, even if that had occurred, we have plenty of evidence now that it wouldn’t have made a difference. The country has a terrible COVID-19 spike under Joe Biden despite him starting his presidency with multiple vaccines in hand. The claim that some silver bullet of testing in November of 2020 would have lowered fatalities by 30-40 percent is absolutely laughable and obviously political.
As an exit point, everything she’s saying is actually an indictment of Biden, isn’t it? I realize the House committee she spoke to just wanted dirt on Trump, but Biden was handed a far situation than Trump and has produced far worse results in context. So where’s Birx’s criticism of the current president? I think we know why she’s staying mum on that.