If you call a plumber to repair a leaky pipe, and he diagnoses the problem, hands you an estimate for a new piece of pipe and attachments plus his labour, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you don’t need a new pipe, only a piece of duct tape. If you have pain in your side, you go to the doctor, and he tells you that you have appendicitis and need an operation, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you only need an antacid. When things go wrong, we rely on experts to diagnose and fix the problem. Experts have specialized education, training and skills that we lack, so we trust them to take care of the problems that occur, whether with our homes, our cars, or our bodies.
Within the administration of our federal government, we have experts in all fields from the environment to housing to public health and more. Two of those public health experts are Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Let me tell you just a little bit about them …
Dr. Fauci graduated first in his class from Cornell University Medical College with a Doctor of Medicine in 1966. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, now known as New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine. In 1968, Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI, and in 1980 was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 1984, he became director of NIAID, a position he still holds as of 2020. In that role he is responsible for an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research on infectious and immune-mediated illnesses. He has turned down several offers to lead his agency’s parent, the NIH, and has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the 2009 swine flu pandemic, MERS, Ebola and COVID-19.
He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and in driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dr. Fauci has been a visiting professor at many medical centers and has received 30 honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S. and abroad.
Dr. Birx received a BS in chemistry from Houghton College in 1976, completing her undergraduate studies in just two years. In 1980, Birx earned an MD from the Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University. From 1980 to 1994, Birx served as an active duty reserve officer in the United States Army. From 1994 to 2008, Birx was active duty regular Army, achieving the rank of Colonel.
From 1980 to 1989, Birx worked as a physician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 1981, Birx completed a one-year internship and did a two-year residency in internal medicine. From 1983 to 1986, she completed two fellowships in clinical immunology in the areas of allergies and diagnostics, where she worked in Anthony Fauci’s lab. From 1985 to 1989, Birx was the assistant chief of the Walter Reed Allergy/Immunology Service. Birx started her career as a clinician in immunology, eventually focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research. From 1986 to 1989, Birx worked at the National Institutes of Health as an investigator specializing in cellular immunology. From 2005 to 2014, Birx served as the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), part of the agency’s Center for Global Health.
In January 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Birx to be the Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.
I think there can be no doubt that Drs. Fauci and Birx are experts in the field of immunology, infectious diseases, and public health. In the past week, Donald Trump has dissed both of these experts and their opinions.
Last week, Dr. Fauci testified before a House subcommittee that the U.S. has seen more cases than European countries because it only shut down a fraction of its economy amid the pandemic. On Saturday, Trump tweeted …
“Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.”
This is akin to saying that if I just don’t go down to the basement where that pipe is leaking, it won’t be leaking.
And then came Dr. Birx’ turn. On Sunday Birx said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and that the deadly virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the US earlier this year. She also did not rule out the possibility that the nation’s coronavirus death toll could double by the end of the year to 300,000 and that most schools should offer only online learning this year. Trump fired back on Monday …
“So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”
And then …
“With the exception of New York & a few other locations, we’ve done MUCH better than most other Countries in dealing with the China Virus. Many of these countries are now having a major second wave. The Fake News is working overtime to make the USA (& me) look as bad as possible! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!”
Nancy Pelosi had criticized Dr. Birx last week, saying she had lost confidence in her for she was helping Trump spread disinformation about the progress … or lack thereof … being made in the U.S. in combatting the virus. Historically, Dr. Birx has tended to paint a rosier picture than Dr. Fauci, less inclined to risk disagreeing with Trump, but she now seems to agree that the virus is spinning out of control here.
In contrast to Trump, Joe Biden took to Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet attacking Birx:
“It’s hard to believe this has to be said, but if I’m elected president, I’ll spend my Monday mornings working with our nation’s top experts to control this virus — not insulting them on Twitter.”
Now, I began with a brief overview of the credentials of both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. Donald Trump has now denigrated both of these highly respected experts. Take a look at the credentials of Donald Trump in the field of medicine and public health …
Yep, that’s it, folks … he has none. Who you gonna believe, two highly qualified experts who have dedicated their lives to the study of medicine, or a television clown who has dedicated his life to screwing people? To date, the U.S. has 4,862,174 reported cases, or 26% of the world’s 18,443,484 total. We also have, as of this writing, 158,929 reported deaths, or 23% of the world’s 697,189 total. And, most experts agree that the U.S. data is under-reported by at least 30%. So no, my friends, we are not “doing very well”. Donald Trump is wrong and the experts are right. What a surprise, eh? I strongly advise we believe the experts … our very lives depend on it.