Birx Ignores Critical Element of Time to Back Up Trump
Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx‘s addition to the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force was viewed by some as a positive sign in February, given her decades of experience with global health, immunology, and vaccine research. But as rumors swell she is under consideration to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Birx has increasingly supported President Donald Trump, raising ire and anger among many Americans.
On Tuesday in an Oval Office press pool spray Dr. Birx went out of her way, as cameras were rolling and with President Trump just a few feet away, to lambast a reporter who had just challenged Trump on his horrific record of coronavirus testing.
Directing her comments to a Yahoo News reporter, Birx said, “I just want to make it clear that South Korea’s testing was 11 per a hundred thousand [residents], and we’re at 17 per hundred thousand.”
Trump immediately chimed in, asking, “Are you going to apologize, Yahoo? That’s why you’re Yahoo and nobody knows who the hell you are.”
“That’s why nobody knows who you are, including me,” Trump repeated.
Birx, addressing the reporter, interjected, “Just check it again,” before Trump interrupted her.
“You ought to get your facts right,” Trump chastised the reporter, talking over him and saying, “Well your facts are wrong.”
“That’s why nobody knows who you are, including me” — Trump and Birx team up to attack the Yahoo reporter who asked earlier about testing pic.twitter.com/ZBrqOiCKGm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 28, 2020
Dr. Birx is correct, according to the latest statistics at Worldometers, which maintains a constantly-updated database of coronavirus statistics globally, by country, down to the state level.
But what Birx left out was the absolute most important part.
South Korea was seen as the gold standard of how to respond to the pandemic from the very start, because they implemented widespread testing and social distancing measures almost immediately.
The Trump administration took months to get testing up and running, and is nowhere near where America needs to be. This lack of timely testing has cost thousands of American lives.
As a result of its actions, South Korea has had just 5 deaths per one million residents. The U.S. has had a whopping 172 deaths per million.
(In total, South Korea has had 244 coronavirus deaths. The U.S. has had 57,096.)
Timing is everything, as Politifact noted when fact-checking a false Trump claim last month.
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Trump Secretly Orders Halt to Airport Coronavirus Screenings of International Travelers Coming Into US
President Donald Trump and his administration have ordered a halt to screenings of international airline passengers entering the United States, and ordered the end of the program to be “secret until a public announcement is made,” Yahoo News reports.
As on 12:01 AM Monday, Sept. 14, “all screenings will come to a halt.” That includes temperature checks and health questions related to potential COVID-19 symptoms, as well as contact information which is used for contact tracing – one of the best methods for containing the spread of the coronavirus.
“Without that information, it likely won’t be possible to contact passengers on a flight who may have potentially been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19,” Yahoo adds.
The shut down of the screening program comes just before the start of flu season, which is expected to be especially deadly this year, and amid a rise in coronavirus infections across the country.
Under President Trump, the U.S. has one of the world’s worst overall response to the coronavirus pandemic. There have been more than 6.5 million coronavirus cases in America, and nearly 195,000 deaths – far more than any other nation.
The U.S ranks 12th in coronavirus deaths per capita, meaning there are only 11 nations with a worse record on deaths.
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