Oh Lord, here it comes: The first wisps of a new rehabilitation tour are floating over the treetops. CNN reports that White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx is letting it be known, via anonymous "aides and friends," that she is "distressed" with the direction the Typhoid Tyrant's coronavirus task force has been going of late. Possibly distressed enough to do something about it, or possibly not—you know how these things go.
By way of background: Dr. Deborah Birx was once a prominent fixture of the Mike Pence Everything Is Fine Task Force briefings, and had been steadily chipping away at her own reputation with administration-friendly suppositions such as the claim that Texas' "reopening" was going just super, during an enormous spike in Texas pandemic cases that was quickly becoming the talk of the country. This phase lasted until maybe July-ish, when Trump, having largely shut down "task force" briefings after deciding that they weren't doing him any political good, announced new "task force" briefings that would do away with the irritating medical experts and focus on delivering only the news that Donald personally wanted delivered.
She continues, in a much-diminished role, to appear as a surrogate on the Sunday news shows and such (places where Donald Trump is not personally going to run into her, perhaps), simultaneously warning Americans that they might want to be more aware of just how thoroughly they are boned while avoiding compatriot Dr. Anthony Fauci's dangerous habit of contradicting Trump’s weirdest claims more directly.
So after all this humiliation, what's the new last straw for Birx? According to CNN, it's the arrival of batshit crazy person Dr. Scott Atlas. Atlas, who has no substantive expertise in infectious disease whatsoever, has become a White House favorite for having Fox Newsian opinions that match what Trump and Trump’s top aides most want to hear. Atlas thinks all this focus on masks is Too Much. Atlas thinks the path forward is to embrace "population immunity," removing current pandemic safety measures. Instead, we let everyone in America get the virus all at once, with high-risk groups isolating themselves as best they can. We get the whole herd infected, sick, recovered ,and immune in the span of Eh, How Long Can It Take.
For reference, this is the "do nothing" plan that other experts have calculated would lead to 2 million U.S. deaths or more. You can get to "herd immunity" only after you've killed off all the livestock too weak to handle the process.
He's not saying we won't get our hair mussed, mind you. A few million deaths, tops.
Now, just to underscore this point, this plan is absolutely, one hundred percent batshit insane. It is lunacy. In addition to the deaths, the overwhelmed morgues, and the burying-people-in-parks catastrophe of actually implementing it, we don't know that long-term immunity to the virus is even granted after catching it the first time. We hope so. But we don't know. This is the sort of thing that you might want to check while you're designing the Trump-MAGA-themed pandemic abattoir-slash-casinos.
In the same CNN report in which Birx's allies, almost certainly including an anonymous Birx herself, report on her "distress" over the White House leaning a bit too eagerly toward a Murder Them All pandemic plan, however, we also get real pushback to the notion that this will result in Birx doing absolutely anything, of any sort, to publicly object. She is a "good soldier," we are told, and likely "not going anywhere."
Oh, okay. Well, thanks for wasting our time with that.
All right, so this is at this point a song we know verse-by-verse. From the CNN-leaked talk of distress and “frustration,” we can presume that Birx has a real fear that things are about to become an absolute clusterfuck in the United States. That she believes Atlas' influence is large enough to quite possibly set the White House down a very bad path (and soon), and wants her immediate circle of support to rest assured that she does not like that idea one bit.
Ain't gonna do anything dramatic about it, mind you. Not going to rock that boat too much. But if all hell does break loose, Birx will at least have a CNN story to point to in the rubble-strewn aftermath. See there, she'll able to say. I was warning about this—sort of, anonymously.
It's going to be a popular refrain if Trump loses the election. Don't blame us, everyone around Trump will say. We knew he was dangerous the whole time.