It’s bad enough when politicians have broken the COVID-19 rules they’ve imposed on citizens, but there’s something even more galling when a health expert, advocating for such policies, demonstrates the very same hypocrisy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci violated D.C.’s mask mandate when he threw out the first pitch at the Nationals’ season opener in July.
Now we’ve learned that Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, traveled to her vacation home on Fenwick Island in Delaware during Thanksgiving weekend after telling Americans to “be vigilant” and limit celebrations to “your immediate household.”
According to the Associated Press, she “was accompanied by three generations of her family from two households.” In addition to her and her husband, her daughter and son-in-law and two young grandchildren were present.
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Birx explained that the purpose of her trip was not for Thanksgiving, but to handle the winterization of the property in advance of a potential sale. “I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” Birx explained in a statement. She acknowledged that her family shared a meal while she was in Delaware. But the Associated Press also noted that Dr. Birx “comes from a multigenerational family with her parents and her daughter’s family, including grandchildren, all living under one roof,” so she may not have technically violated the rules, though it still looks bad.
Birx also conducted an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” while she was in Delaware, during which she chided Americans who “went across the country or even into the next state” for the holiday weekend. “Some people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period,” she said.
According to Birx, anyone who traveled over the Thanksgiving weekend should assume they were infected with COVID-19.
I don’t blame her for wanting to be with family during the Thanksgiving weekend. But all Americans did, and we were told by her and other experts not to travel or dine with people outside our immediate households. In New York State, for example, Governor Cuomo doubled the fines for social-distancing violations and urged New Yorkers to rat out neighbors who were violating guidelines. No fines were actually given, but meeting with family for Thanksgiving was treated like a criminal act.
If these restrictions were that critical to the public’s health, then the people suggesting and enforcing these rules wouldn’t be violating them. It’s time we end the charade, don’t you think?