Deborah Birx has made a media splash in recent days with the release of her book, Silent Invasion, which details her time as a member of President Donald Trump’s White House COVID task force.
A report from the National Pulse discusses how Birx revealed that her primary connections inside the administration that helped her push for lockdown policies and restrictions were Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence.
Birx additionally admitted that she engaged in “subterfuge” inside the administration, even implementing policy changes without authorization and acting against express instructions at times.
She wrote that she knew that it was as hard to get White House officials to “change their behavior” as it is to get the public to change behaviors in response to the pandemic. She said that she decided to make the best use she could of those who would help her rather than work on those who resisted her.
She went on to say that Kushner and Pence were her “go-to people in the White House” she used to “move the pandemic response forward.”
Birx was surprisingly open in her book about her pro-lockdown preferences. She readily discussed her refusal to attend meetings with staffers who expressed disagreement with her positions.
She wrote that she felt it was important for her to “cut Dr. Scott Atlas off from any degree of influence he might try to exert on anyone short of the president.” She put the word out to Kushner and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that she refused to participate in any meetings where Atlas would be present. She said she understood the outcome would be to exclude Dr. Atlas from most important meetings in the Oval Office, at the task force, or at the “Covid Huddle.”
Birx also said that she admitted to coming up with a “work-around” for handling reports from governors. She claimed that she made edits on her own to “reorder and restructure the bullet points” so that she could prioritize her policy desires and bury objections.
She said in the book, “Fortunately, this strategic sleight-of-hand worked.” She said that people apparently went through reports quickly and never performed word searches that would have shown the language she shuffled around.
The implication that Pence was Birx’s “go-to” person to promote her extreme lockdown positions comes as the former vice president is working to establish a position for himself in the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Many commentators have speculated that Pence may be preparing to announce a run for the presidency in 2024, potentially going up against President Trump in the GOP primaries.