Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coroanvirus Task Force, released a statement on Monday after she was caught appearing to violate the very guidelines that she recommended that Americans follow around Thanksgiving weekend.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that Birx traveled to a vacation property that she owns on Fenwick Island in Delaware the day after Thanksgiving where she was joined by three generations of family members from two households.
“She insisted the purpose of the roughly 50-hour visit was to deal with the winterization of the property before a potential sale — something she says she previously hadn’t had time to do because of her busy schedule,” the AP reported. “Birx said that everyone on her Delaware trip belongs to her ‘immediate household,’ even as she acknowledged they live in two different homes.”
Birx faced widespread criticism over the report over the weekend and, after initially declining to issue a statement on the matter, released a statement on Monday where she attempted to explain her actions.
Birx said in a statement late on Monday evening:
Like many Americans, I am the sole caregiver for my parents. They live with me in my immediate household in Potomac, where my daughter and her family reside as well. We are all supporting and providing for each other during this difficult time.
We did not hold the usual Thanksgiving we have every year which includes 30-40 members of my extended family. In fact, I did not hold a Thanksgiving celebration whatsoever this year. My trip to Delaware after the Thanksgiving holiday solely focused on preparing the property for a potential sale. Members of my immediate household assisted in that as well.
As some members of my immediate family could be at risk for COVID-19, I am extremely vigilant in taking all precautions to protect them. I self-isolate, I wear a mask, and I get tested when I interact with them. My family and I follow and practice CDC guidelines, and I encourage all Americans, especially those in situations similar to mine, to do the same.
One of Birx’s family members came forward to the Associated Press with the story, claiming that Birx had “cavalierly violated her own guidance.”
The family member said they came forward with the information because they were concerned about other family members that were at higher risk for the coronavirus because of their age.
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