Birx Roasts COVID Response In Election Eve Memo

The New York Times reports:

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who has carefully straddled the line between science and politics as she helps lead the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, delivered a stark private warning on Monday, telling White House officials that the pandemic is entering a new and “deadly phase” that demands a more aggressive approach.

The warning — sent in a private memo to White House officials as the nation’s daily coronavirus caseload has broken records and approached 100,000 — amounted to a direct contradiction of President Trump’s repeated false assertions that the pandemic is “rounding the corner.”

In it, Dr. Birx suggested Mr. Trump and his advisers were spending too much time focusing on lockdowns, and not enough on controlling the virus.

The Washington Post reports:

“We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality,” said the Nov. 2 report from Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. “This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented.”

Birx’s internal report, shared with top White House and agency officials, contradicts Trump on numerous points: While the president holds large campaign events with hundreds of attendees, most without masks, she explicitly warns against them.

While the president blames rising cases on more testing, she says testing is “flat or declining” in many areas where cases are rising. And while Trump says the country is “rounding the turn,” Birx notes the country is entering its most dangerous period yet and will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week.