During the White House coronavirus press briefing on March 23, Dr. Deborah Birx was answering questions about social distancing when she admitted she missed this past weekends’ daily COVID-19 briefings because she had a low-grade fever. It was a surprising statement coming from the physician, and it literally made Donald Trump run away from her on live television.
A reporter was initially asking Trump about Senator Rand Paul, who, before contracting COVID-19, was attending meetings at the Senate as usual and unknowingly putting others at risk — seemingly doing exactly the opposite of the “Stay at Home” or “Safer at Home” orders being issued around the United States.
Trump gave the floor to Birx, 63, to answer the reporter’s question about how to regulate those who are asymptomatic, which is when the doctor mentioned having not felt well these past few days. “Saturday, I had a little low-grade fever,” and Trump scurried away on stage. When she says, “I stayed home another day…” and before Dr. Birx could finish her sentence, Trump let out a huge audible sigh.
“We need to take personal responsibility,” Dr. Birx was saying before discussing her own medical issues. After Trump fleed from her standing at the podium, Dr. Birx defended herself by saying, “It was probably a GI thing. I looked it up. I got a test late Saturday night and I tested negative. I’m meticulous. I’m a physician.”
Users online had a strong response to this spectacle between Trump and Dr. Birx at the White House press briefing for numerous reasons. One thing that struck viewers watching at home was how easily Dr. Birx was able to access a coronavirus test.
One of the main topics during the press briefing, and the many that have preceded it, is the shortage of COVID-19 tests available, which is a huge problem nationwide. There are reports around the country of sick people dying while waiting to find out if they had coronavirus or not.
Birx explaining how she was able to return to work so quickly and receive the assurance directly from Walter Reed Hospital that she was not infected with COVID-19 after having only one symptom — it’s something most of the population can not do.
Another issue voiced on Twitter was that while discussing the importance of social distancing, Birx, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General William Barr were all standing up on the stage, inches apart — not 6 feet apart as the CDC’s guidelines advocate.
Why Wasn’t Dr. Fauci At Today’s White House Press Briefing?
Each and every time Dr. Anthony Fauci is missing from the daily coronavirus briefings, it becomes the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter. As one of the leading experts in the U.S. on infectious diseases, he has been a frequent presence in the media in the last few weeks due to his blunt and always informative interviews on coronavirus.
His words of advice during these uncertain times have become a source of comfort to the nation, but viewers at home can rest assured that Fauci has not been fired and he has not come down with coronavirus. He just can’t be everywhere at once. Fauci’s been tirelessly bouncing from interview to interview in order to keep the public updated with the latest developments on COVID-19, while also being a key member on the White House’s coronavirus task force.
He’ll be back.