Deborah Birx– not Anthony Fauci – Was the Covid Ringleader

 

When I decided to read Scott Atlas’ book, A Plague Upon Our House, I had no idea how shocked and disillusioned I would become. I already knew from the excellent posts on Ricochet that our government’s strategies for understanding and managing the virus were a disaster, but I have every reason to believe that Dr. Atlas’ descriptions of the events during his service at the White House are true.

And it was a tragedy.

So why was Atlas brought on board to advise the president? His credentials are substantial, although in its usual frenzy to discount anyone associated with President Trump, the media harped on his long-ago work as a radiologist and that he wasn’t an epidemiologist. He was also a highly respected colleague of Dr. Jay Battacharya from Stanford, who has appeared many times in Ricochet forums and also been tarred and feathered by the media (which earns him high esteem from me).

Dr. Atlas did not initially want to go to the White House to be a senior advisor, but felt an obligation to help the President and the country with this viral crisis. He wasn’t politically motivated, but sought to bring the truth to all parties who would be affected. After a comprehensive and ongoing review of the data, Dr. Atlas repeatedly emphasized the implementation of certain key points:

My main points were that targeted protection made sense, not broad lockdowns, especially given that the elderly harbored a far higher risk than younger, healthier people; that children had an extremely low risk; and that the lockdowns and school closures were already enormously harmful.

And although nearly everyone ignored or refused to implement his advice, he was consistent in sharing it. And he was right.

Atlas determined early on that Deborah Birx was the person who was leading the Task Force. Quite simply, no one was willing to challenge her approaches, her ideas, or her data, including Fauci and Redfield. Except for Atlas. And when he did challenge her, she would interrupt him, argue with him and discount him. Everyone else fell in line at his example (since many had seen her similar behavior in other situations and knew better than to challenge her). In particular, Atlas was alarmed at her simplistic approach to the data:

I chose to avoid explaining her second serious mistake, which derived from a naive reliance on correlation—i.e., believing that a chosen correlation proved causation. This kind of unsophisticated reasoning was frequently demonstrated by the Task Force medical troika as they voiced similarly invalid conclusions about masks and lockdowns in subsequent meetings, conclusions that were so obviously unsound that they were questioned even by the nonscientists around the room.

Atlas finally realized the most important contribution he could make:

While Birx, Fauci, and Redfield focused solely on stopping cases at all costs, in media interviews and in their advice to governors, pushing their brain-numbing message of ‘wash your hands, stay away from others, wear your masks,’ I was the only doctor representing the White House who also explained to the public, providing data in written pieces, in interviews, and through the president’s remarks, that the lockdowns were destroying people. Now I more fully understood the importance of my being there, exactly why I was brought into the White House.

There were several appalling episodes that Atlas experienced: the refusal of participants to engage in open discussion and the lack of studying the data by most of the other medical experts, for two. But I have to admit that my own reaction duplicated Atlas’ with an exchange he had with Fauci, questioning a comment Fauci had made:

I challenged him to clarify his point, because I couldn’t believe my ears. ‘So you think people aren’t frightened enough?’ He said, ‘Yes, they need to be more afraid.’ To me, this was another moment of Kafkaesque absurdity. I replied, ‘I totally disagree. People are paralyzed with fear. Fear is one of the main problems at this point.’ Inside, I was also shocked at his thought process, as such an influential face of the pandemic. Instilling fear in the public is absolutely counter to what a leader in public health should do. To me, it is frankly immoral, although I kept that to myself.

Atlas was continually in a state of perplexity, trying to figure out the motivations and strategies of his colleagues on the COVID Task Force. Why did Jared Kushner keep sending him to Mike Pence when he had concerns? Why didn’t the contradictory information from the President’s speeches and the Task Force representatives cause Mike Pence concern? What were people so afraid of when it came to disagreeing with Deborah Birx? He finally reached some clarity regarding these questions and I found his conclusions credible:

Eventually I figured out the dynamic. Birx obviously was very knowledgeable about two things, regardless of her expertise on the pandemic itself. First, she knew that the VP had her back, often echoing her words. Clearly, he was conscious that the Task Force—which he directed—was the most visible evidence of his own work in the administration. That meant that its perceived positives must be protected—nothing about it that the public viewed as positive would be minimized or criticized. Pence had zero intention of ‘rocking the boat’ with Birx or Fauci, even though he was very receptive to my thoughts and readily agreed with the data I presented. Second, Birx, having been in Washington for decades, understood something else that I certainly did not—how politicians worked. She was fully aware, unlike me, that there was no one who really had the guts to tell the truth to her or to the public. After all, an election was approaching.

When Trump lost the election, Atlas had already decided to return to California. He had gone through quite enough of the media attacks, lies, and distortions. He despised the political environment, and returned home for Thanksgiving without going back to the White House. Since the Task Force was not interested in his expertise and contributions, there was no reason to stick around.

I’ll end my observations about Atlas with one of his most powerful conclusions about COVID-19, the pandemic, and the Task Force:

In the end, the most egregious failure of the Task Force was its complete and utter disregard for the harmful impact of its recommended policies. This was outright immoral, an inexplicable betrayal of their most fundamental duty. I have no doubt it will go down as one of the greatest public health failures in history.

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The government response to COVID is the main reason I do not want a Trump POTUS again.  He blew it big time.  They blew up the world to get him and he helped them do it.  He is not fit for public office because of it. 

    • #1
  2. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    In a just world, this would end the prospects of a future Mike Pence presidency right now.

    • #2
  3. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Maybe Birx gets the most.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The government response to COVID is the main reason I do not want a Trump POTUS again. He blew it big time. They blew up the world to get him and he helped them do it. He is not fit for public office because of it.

    I can’t figure out why Trump didn’t deal with the conflicts between his own conclusions (which Atlas agreed with) and the Task Force. Was he so determined not to step on Pence’s toes? Did he believe he already had enough to deal with? I don’t blame him for bringing out the vaccines–I don’t think he could have known the medical implications–but not to deal with the lies of the Task Force is incomprehensible.

    • #4
  5. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Columbo (View Comment):

    In a just world, this would end the prospects of a future Mike Pence presidency right now.

    And it has been reported for quite a while that Pence had been undermining Trump.  And I’m not referring to anything about the election.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I just edited the OP regarding the efforts that Trump made to manufacture the vaccine as an emergency response. Clearly he had admirable intentions, but I don’t think he could have anticipated the determination of Pharma to get out the vaccine in spite of either lack of data or suspect data. I think the bureaucracy’s efforts to silence the questioning of the vaccines was a huge problem. But I don’t know if it was reasonable to expect these inept bureaucrats to challenge Pharma to ensure the vaccines were safe. There were so many moving parts . . . 

    • #6
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Susan Quinn: it will go down as one of the greatest public health failures in history.

    There’s some very serious competition for that title.  Lordy…

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: it will go down as one of the greatest public health failures in history.

    There’s some very serious competition for that title. Lordy…

    At least he said it was “one of” the greatest . . . 

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    In some respects, we could say that Pence, in his efforts to “get along,” was as guilty as Birx in allowing the catastrophic results. And I find it fascinating that people thought that getting out the truth would hurt election prospects for Trump? I am certain that delays in approving the vaccine were political, but the rest of it? The more I learn about how events unfolded, the more betrayed and frustrated I become . . . 

    • #9
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic. 

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire. 

     

     

    • #10
  11. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I just edited the OP regarding the efforts that Trump made to manufacture the vaccine as an emergency response. Clearly he had admirable intentions, but I don’t think he could have anticipated the determination of Pharma to get out the vaccine in spite of either lack of data or suspect data. I think the bureaucracy’s efforts to silence the questioning of the vaccines was a huge problem. But I don’t know if it was reasonable to expect these inept bureaucrats to challenge Pharma to ensure the vaccines were safe. There were so many moving parts . . .

    President Trump was sabotaged from the get-go by everyone. At the very beginning of his Administration, anyone experienced who dared to accept being a part of his Administration was bullied and threatened away from doing so by the gOpE powers. The sabotage from the imbeds in the Deep State was also clearly exposed.

    This clearly included the Task Force, and even his own VP who had his own untainted image and perception as his primary objective, forget the President. Throw in the corrupt Corporate Pharma and you’ve got an immense bureaucracy to wade through. Also, the President did not wish to stand in the way if medical experts were warning of a widespread pandemic if their recommendations weren’t followed to the letter. There were clearly enough deaths occurring (also overstated by the corrupt anti-Trump world) to warrant significant measures to contain.

    • #11
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    In some respects, we could say that Pence, in his efforts to “get along,” was as guilty as Birx in allowing the catastrophic results. And I find it fascinating that people thought that getting out the truth would hurt election prospects for Trump? I am certain that delays in approving the vaccine were political, but the rest of it? The more I learn about how events unfolded, the more betrayed and frustrated I become . . .

    It has been hard to stomach; I feel a bitterness that I fear won’t be reconciled in my time left on earth.

    I made a comment on another thread that Pence might have been the guy for consensus building, but this was a time for cold, hard facts. Having read Scott Atlas’ book, he seems to be the only guy operating with that mindset. And the entire world suffered, and will continue to suffer.

     

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic.

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire.

     

     

    He actually defended Trump throughout his book. And Atlas took an onslaught of fire the entire time he worked at the WH. It was never-ending.

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Columbo (View Comment):

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Maybe Birx gets the most.

    Looks like Pence gets some, too. Undermining the president through the task force surely wasn’t accidental.

    • #14
  15. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    In some respects, we could say that Pence, in his efforts to “get along,” was as guilty as Birx in allowing the catastrophic results. And I find it fascinating that people thought that getting out the truth would hurt election prospects for Trump? I am certain that delays in approving the vaccine were political, but the rest of it? The more I learn about how events unfolded, the more betrayed and frustrated I become . . .

    I think Pence was thinking about Pence, not getting along. And I think even after 4 years Trump did not appreciate the depth of hatred against him and the intensity of effort to destroy him. I think Pence planned to be still standing. 

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Maybe Birx gets the most.

    Looks like Pence gets some, too. Undermining the president through the task force surely wasn’t accidental.

    Atlas kept being told that they didn’t want to “rock the boat” in reference to the upcoming election. A lot of good their efforts made: we lost, hundreds of thousands died. Well done. [sarc]

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic.

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire.

    He actually defended Trump throughout his book. And Atlas took an onslaught of fire the entire time he worked at the WH. It was never-ending.

    Not from the entire world, including the national and international press, and the entire Democratic Party. No, he did not.

    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD after his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    Trump was in a horrific situation throughout the pandemic storm. People who criticize what he did make me laugh. Did the world continue to function pretty much? Thank Donald Trump for keeping a steady hand on the tiller.

    Except for some very sad situations in South America, the world did not shut down. Food and medicine and shelter were available to most everyone.

    I wish people would keep in mind that Trump was president of the Democrats too, and they wanted all these things that the CDC and WHO recommended–from the masks to the lockdowns and shutdowns to the social distancing to the contact tracing to the travel bans to the quarantines.

    Trump was in the middle.

    • #17
  18. President Donald J. Trump Member
    President Donald J. Trump
    @PresDonaldJTrump

    Columbo (View Comment):

    In a just world, this would end the prospects of a future Mike Pence presidency right now.

    Mike Pence is a failed leader.   His fascination with Deborah Birx, who is not smart and has terrible fashion sense, caused him to make a bad decisions on the one thing he was given to do.  Mike Pence, did not have the guts to make hard decisions–he is a loser.  

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things. 

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    Trump didn’t either. He left it to the states. It was Trump who made DeSantis possible. 

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Trump needed Dr. Atlas to convince the doctors in the CDC to change course. He failed. That’s all Trump could do. 

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    Trump didn’t either. He left it to the states. It was Trump who made DeSantis possible.

    The problem began with giving the feds too much power at the start. They were the ones who insisted on the lockdowns. Yes, I know the states were ultimately in charge of many of these decisions. But the initiation of them started with the feds. If the feds started it, maybe they should have withdrawn their decisions and then turned to the states. Yes, Atlas couldn’t get the Task Force Troika to change its mind. So I guess that puts the blame for their terrible decisions on him? Again, he didn’t have the power to make them change direction.

    • #22
  23. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Here is the wretched Birx herself on the “subterfuge” (her word) in which she engaged, and here she explains that she knew the vaccines would not prevent infection–although she expects us to believe that we should take Paxlovid because it’s “effective” and “great.”  Apparently if you have the currently correct opinions, you can say and do anything anytime without being called to account.  

    • #23
  24. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    President Donald J. Trump (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    In a just world, this would end the prospects of a future Mike Pence presidency right now.

    Mike Pence is a failed leader. His fascination with Deborah Birx, who is not smart and has terrible fashion sense, caused him to make a bad decisions on the one thing he was given to do. Mike Pence, did not have the guts to make hard decisions–he is a loser.


    How dare you!

    • #24
  25. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The government response to COVID is the main reason I do not want a Trump POTUS again. He blew it big time. They blew up the world to get him and he helped them do it. He is not fit for public office because of it.

    In the beginning, Trump had little choice but to go with the “experts,” after all, that is why they exist and at least one, Fauci, was the highest-paid government official in DC. He was dealing with an unknown, and now we know a guilt-ridden, corrupt agency, or three. Trump didn’t fail us. Government failed Trump. The hostile media and Democrats attacked him viciously when he deviated from their unsound advice. Even worse, many Republicans willingly bought into the image the media painted of Trump and were against anything he proposed. Trump was poorly served by Pence. Trump is the last person I blame. Too many Republicans believe now that the party deserves better than Trump. No, they don’t.  They have proved to be unworthy of even Trump. Soon, they will get Harris, who will ride out Biden’s term, and they will deserve her.

    I do not buy into the notion that Trump helped them. Nothing about Trump is worse than what the Democrats do and say. In fact, I find him to be merely a mild disrupter in a time when the threat demands disruption, not good manners.  The “deep state,” “swamp,” or whatever you want to call it will not clean up its act willingly. Trump merely reflected the mood of his voters.  They liked how someone finally would fight back.

    No, what helped the Democrats are the spineless Republican voters, just enough of them for Democrats to win narrowly in 2020 in a few select precincts. Republicans had the guy who increased black and Hispanic votes, the guy who received more Republican votes than any president before him. They had the path to victory and stayed home, voted for Biden, or wrote in a third name.  Et, tu?

    I will let ricochet folks explain themselves; however, for generic folks outside of ricochet who did not support Trump in 2020, they screwed up and need to quit blaming Trump for their screwup…..I’m talking to you, Georgians, and you aren’t alone.

    • #25
  26. President Donald J. Trump Member
    President Donald J. Trump
    @PresDonaldJTrump

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    The “deep state,” “swamp,” or whatever you want to call it will not clean up its act willingly. Trump merely reflected the mood of his voters.  They liked how someone finally would fight back.

    There are effectively 4 branches of government now:  legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative.   The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating.   It is a cancer that grows all the time.   In the proposed “Whip Inflation Now” plan, there is a provision which will undo “EPA v. West Virginia” and give the EPA power to regulate all electrical generation, distribution and use.   The Trump team is preparing now with with an army of new de-administrators that will fill the 4000 appointed leaders of the administrative state and restore our government to constitutional 3 branches.

    • #26
  27. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    President Donald J. Trump (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    The “deep state,” “swamp,” or whatever you want to call it will not clean up its act willingly. Trump merely reflected the mood of his voters. They liked how someone finally would fight back.

    There are effectively 4 branches of government now: legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative. The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating. It is a cancer that grows all the time. In the proposed “Whip Inflation Now” plan, there is a provision which will undo “EPA v. West Virginia” and give the EPA power to regulate all electrical generation, distribution and use. The Trump team is preparing now with with an army of new de-administrators that will fill the 4000 appointed leaders of the administrative state and restore our government to constitutional 3 branches.

    Byron York warned us years ago. 

    • #27
  28. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic.

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire.

    He actually defended Trump throughout his book. And Atlas took an onslaught of fire the entire time he worked at the WH. It was never-ending.

    Not from the entire world, including the national and international press, and the entire Democratic Party. No, he did not.

    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD after his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

     

    Marci, these things are not black and white. I remember Atlas taking a lot of flack.   In March I was fired from a job with Mass Dept of Public Health for insisting that the heads of state hospitals–the state runs 12 or 15 of them–provide actual data on WuFlu morbidity and mortality.  Putting my head above the trench caused me to be shot.

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic.

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire.

    He actually defended Trump throughout his book. And Atlas took an onslaught of fire the entire time he worked at the WH. It was never-ending.

    Not from the entire world, including the national and international press, and the entire Democratic Party. No, he did not.

    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD after his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

     

    Marci, these things are not black and white. I remember Atlas taking a lot of flack. In March I was fired from a job with Mass Dept of Public Health for insisting that the heads of state hospitals–the state runs 12 or 15 of them–provide actual data on WuFlu morbidity and mortality. Putting my head above the trench caused me to be shot.

    Ultimately, I’m most interested in knowing what worked and didn’t work in these efforts to deal with COVID. Most people (unlike you) were just covering their backsides.

    • #29
  30. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    In some respects, we could say that Pence, in his efforts to “get along,” was as guilty as Birx in allowing the catastrophic results. And I find it fascinating that people thought that getting out the truth would hurt election prospects for Trump? I am certain that delays in approving the vaccine were political, but the rest of it? The more I learn about how events unfolded, the more betrayed and frustrated I become . . .

    Every time I read your post title it takes me right back to Pence. The failure exhibited by Pence disqualifies him as any future leader of America. Pence, of all those in the White House, had the experience as a state governor and has no excuses for not understanding what was going on. I think he did and purposely allowed it to go forward.

    • #30
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