NEW YORK (AP) — Dr. Deborah Birx has a memoir coming out this spring that will focus on her contentious time as White House coronavirus task force coordinator in the administration of President Donald Trump.
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Monday that Birx’s “Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of The Trump Administration, COVID-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late,” will be published April 26.
“I wrote ‘Silent Invasion’ to document the full extent of what I witnessed as I tried to save lives during this devastating time,” Birx said in a statement. “In the book, I expose the true cost of mistakes that were made at all levels of the federal government, but I also clarify the things that went right yet remained largely unseen — the insights and innovations that saved American lives in this pandemic and are essential to preparing for the next.”
The 65-year-old Birx, currently a senior fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, had been a highly regarded public health expert dating back to the 1980s. She served as a U.S. Army physician and was a globally recognized AIDS researcher. In February 2020, then-Vice President Mike Pence appointed her the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
But during her time with Trump, Birx drew criticism for everything from allegedly telling him in April 2020 that the pandemic would soon end to not standing up to the president when he contradicted advice from medical and science experts. A notable moment was her limited response when he publicly speculated that the virus could be fought by injecting bleach.
“Frankly, I didn’t know how to handle that episode,” Birx told ABC television in March 2021. “I still think about it every day.”
She was criticized again in 2020 when she traveled to Delaware for Thanksgiving weekend even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended against holiday travel. By the end of the year, she had announced her retirement.
Since leaving, Birx has testified that she favored a more forceful response to the virus but was countered by Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s top COVID-19 adviser, whose memoir “A Plague Upon Our Hour” came out in 2021.
“I could see the consequences of what was occurring out across the United States and the severity of the virus among the most ill, and my concern about those who were potentially less ill,” Birx told a congressional panel last fall. “And inside the White House is a person that is basically wanting community spread to increase.“