Birx Issues Warning COVID-19 Pandemic Entering New, ‘Deadly Phase’ In Memo To White House; Trump Cannot Directly Fire Fauci

New York Times: Birx Issues Blunt Coronavirus Warning Starkly at Odds With Trump
“Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who has carefully straddled the line between science and politics as she helps lead the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, delivered a stark private warning on Monday, telling White House officials that the pandemic is entering a new and ‘deadly phase’ that demands a more aggressive approach. The warning, contained in a private memo to White House officials as the nation’s daily coronavirus caseload has broken records and approached 100,000, amounted to a direct contradiction of President Trump’s repeated — and inaccurate — assertions that the pandemic is ’rounding the corner’…” (Stolberg/Haberman, 11/3).

Washington Post: Trump says he might fire Fauci. Technically, he can’t.
“…Technically, the president of the United States cannot directly fire Fauci, let’s say by a tweet, mainly because he is not a political appointee. As a career federal employee and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, Fauci is protected by federal civil service regulations that shield him from being fired or demoted for political reasons. Fauci could be removed, but it would imply a complicated process layered with civil service protections that require the government agency to provide evidence that there is a just cause for dismissal, including failure to follow orders or misconduct…” (Villegas, 11/2).

Additional coverage of Birx’s memo to the White House is available from Axios and Washington Post.

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