Over the course of the pandemic, Birx drew criticism from public health experts and Democratic lawmakers for not speaking out forcefully against the Republican president when he contradicted advice from medical advisers and scientists about how to fight the virus.
On everything from Trump’s aversion to masks to his dangerous suggestion that ingesting bleach might ward off the virus, critics and backers say Birx stepped carefully to try to maintain her influence in hopes of pushing the president to listen to the scientists…
She has reached out to Biden advisers in recent days as she tries to make the case for a role in the incoming Democratic president’s virus response effort, according to a person familiar with the Biden team’s personnel deliberations and a Trump administration coronavirus task force official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions.
Birx has conveyed that, at best, she envisions herself in a scaled-back role as Biden shapes his own team. Biden has already appointed transition co-chair and Obama administration alumnus Jeffrey Zients to serve as White House coronavirus coordinator. But Birx’s reluctance to publicly challenge Trump when he downplayed the virus has left some in Biden’s transition skeptical that she retains credibility with the public, according to the person familiar with Biden transition deliberations.