Birx, who featured prominently in CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special report “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out,” has been criticized for not speaking out more about the pandemic response while working in the White House.
But Adams defended her.
“Fascinating to see zero support for Birx- the lone female doc in the room- even among women. In fact, women seem to be the most critical of her. It took more courage for her to stay than to leave, and people who weren’t there have no clue how much worse it could’ve been w/o her,” Adams tweeted from a verified account on Monday.
Adams noted how people have praised Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director who served on Trump’s coronavirus task force and stayed on to become chief medical adviser to Biden. Both Fauci and Birx were often standing beside or behind Trump when the former president made spurious claims about the virus.
“And I love Fauci, yet can’t understand the reverence for him vs disdain for Birx (she smiled too much?!). They were in the same rooms & had the same chances to push back or leave. Big difference was Fauci was protected/ couldn’t be fired. Both played the cards they were dealt,” Adams tweeted. “I just will never understand the sentiment -from people who weren’t there- that everyone (but Fauci) should’ve walked away or got themselves fired & somehow things would’ve been better with less doctors/ scientists/ diversity in the room,” he added.
“Can’t change the game from the sidelines.”
Adams declined CNN’s request to be interviewed in the documentary.
In the documentary, Birx recalls getting “horrible pushback” for speaking frankly about the coronavirus pandemic’s widespread reach across both rural and urban communities.
Around that same time, Trump repeatedly claimed the United States had done a good job of containing the virus. Many of Birx’s critics now question why she did not stand up to the former president.
Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent and CNN analyst, posted to Twitter on Sunday night, “I’m sorry but I have a lot of trouble seeing Dr. Birx as a victim. Am I being too harsh?”
‘This happened on her watch’
Birx said in the documentary that she thinks the United States could have saved the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to Covid-19 following the pandemic’s first surge.
More than 549,000 people in the US have died from Covid-19.
“When you look at your data now and you think, ‘OK, had we mitigated earlier, had we actually paused earlier and actually done it’ — how much of an impact do you think that would have made?” Gupta asked Birx.
“I look at it this way — the first time we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge,” Birx said. “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”
In other words, the Trump administration and the country could have done more.
“It makes me angry, because this happened on her watch,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera over the weekend.
“She was the White House pandemic coordinator,” Reiner said about Birx. “This was her job, and if things weren’t being done to her liking, her duty was to stand up and speak up.”