Dr. Deborah Birx, former co-founder of the Trump White House Coronavirus Task Force, is taking a job in the private sector, joining a Texas manufacturer that says its purifiers clean COVID-19 from the air in minutes and from the surfaces in a few hours.
Birx will join Dallas-based ActivePure as chief scientific and medical advisor, he and the company said Friday.
A global health expert, Birx came to the White House in 2020 to help spearhead the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.
But he was criticized for not standing up to former President Donald Trump as he played with the virus, predicted it would disappear, and questioned whether melting the bleach would help cure infected Americans.
While his friend and former mentor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was promoted to be a top medical adviser to Democratic President Joe Biden, Birx did not get a job in the new administration.
“The Biden administration wants a clean slate,” he told Reuters in an interview. “I understand that completely.”
Birx left the government earlier this week.
He said, he and Fauci regularly asked themselves what could have been done differently in the past year.
“When you have 100,000 people lost in the summer, and 300,000 people lost in the winter-winter, you have to ask yourself and know that it hasn’t gone as well as it should,” he said.
“We’re all responsible for that.”
The coronavirus has killed more than 530,000 people in the United States, more than any other country.
Birx said she is still processing regrets and the steps she can take to be more effective.
“I’m trying to rank order among them,” he said. “We have to be willing to step back and really study where we might end up and why we haven’t been effective.”
Birx said he remained concerned about the level of testing in the country, but he praised the new administration for modeling mask wearing and other behaviors that would help fight the virus.
Trump, a Republican, avoided masks.
“I think the messaging has been very, very consistent,” he said of the Biden team. “That’s really important when you’re asking people to change their behaviors.”
In addition to his role at ActivePure, Birx has also joined the George W. Bush Institute as a global health co -founder and biopharmaceutical company Innoviva as a board member, he said.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons, Kieran Murray and Himani Sarkar)
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