Tags: Coronavirus | Trump Administration | pence | birx | aids | coronavirus

Pence Names Top AIDS Official as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator

Pence Names Top AIDS Official as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Deborah Birx (Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Thursday, 27 February 2020 11:45 AM

Vice President Mike Pence has selected the State Department’s top AIDS official, Deborah Birx, to join his coronavirus response team, his office announced on Thursday.

Birx is a career government official who was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2014 as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator responsible for overseeing humanitarian aid programs combating the epidemic. She also served as head of the global HIV/AIDS division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was a top research official at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Trump announced Wednesday that Pence would lead the administration’s response to the coronavirus, which has now spread to more than 80,000 people worldwide and sparked a major sell-off on Wall Street.

The president sought to calm U.S. fears by appearing Wednesday with public health officials at a news conference, where he said the risk to Americans remains low. But health officials said there are likely to be more cases in the U.S., and Trump acknowledged that the outbreak could become “substantially worse.”

“But nothing’s inevitable,” he said.

Global stocks tumbled to four-month lows on Thursday, government debt yields sunk and crude oil extended declines as anxiety over the spread of the coronavirus surged.

Pence’s selection of Birx comes at a time when Trump has focused on rooting out political appointees from government whom he considers disloyal in the aftermath of his impeachment acquittal. Trump allies outside the administration have called for a purge of so-called “deep state” career national security officials.

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Politics
Vice President Mike Pence has selected the State Department's top AIDS official, Deborah Birx, to join his coronavirus response team, his office announced on Thursday.
pence, birx, aids, coronavirus
247
2020-45-27
Thursday, 27 February 2020 11:45 AM
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