Dr. Birx defends herself over post-Thanksgiving trip during pandemic pushback

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Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the White House's top coronavirus advisers, defended herself Monday as she faced scrutiny for traveling to a vacation property in Delaware with others after Thanksgiving.

The Associated Press reported that despite her telling others to stay in their immediate household, Birx accompanied by three generations of her family from two households. Birx, her husband Paige Reffe, a daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren were present.

"Like many Americans, I am the sole caregiver for my parents," she said in a statement to Fox News. "They live with me in my immediate household in Potomac, where my daughter and her family reside as well. We are all supporting each other and providing for each other during this difficult time."

She added: "We did not hold the usual Thanksgiving dinner we have every year which includes 30-40 members of my extended family. In fact, I did not hold a Thanksgiving celebration whatsoever this year. My trip to Delaware after the Thanksgiving holiday solely focused on preparing the property for a potential sale. Members of my immediate household assisted in that as well."

"As some members of my immediate family could be at risk for COVID-19, I am extremely vigilant in taking all precautions to protect them. I self-isolate, I wear a mask, and I get tested when I interact with them. My family and I follow and practice CDC guidelines, and I encourage all Americans, especially those in situations similar to mine, to do the same."

Birx was just the latest public official who appeared to flout their own guidelines.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom similarly caught flak for his attending a dinner party at anupscale French restaurant on Nov. 6. "While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner," he said.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo similarly was caught attending Thanksgiving at his parent's house. "I understand my obligation as a public official to provide exemplary compliance with the public health orders, and certainly not to ignore them," Liccardo said. "I commit to do better."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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