Dr. Birx, part of Trump’s Covid Task Force, will be speaker at Plymouth State graduation

  • White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh

  • White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx holds her face mask as she speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Education building Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Manuel Balce Ceneta

  • Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon

  • President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon

  • President Donald Trump listens as White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

Monitor staff
Published: 4/15/2021 12:11:09 PM

Dr. Deborah Birx, once a leader in the fight against COVID before revealing that a call from former President Donald Trump made her “uncomfortable,” will deliver the keynote address at Plymouth State University next month.

Birx’s brother, Donald Birx, is the school president. The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held on May 8 at 10 a.m. at Mary Lyon Lawn on campus.

PSU will honor Birx with an Honorary Doctrate in Public Service for her work during the fight against two historic infections, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic 30 years ago.

More recently, Birx was a top official in the Trump Administration and only recently revealed to the media about an experience she had had with her former boss following an appearance last summer on CNN.

Back again on CNN two weeks ago, Birx spoke to the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, for a special program called “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out.”

She said her conversation with Trump in the summer was “very uncomfortable, very direct and very difficult to hear.”

“That was a very difficult time,” she said, “because everybody in the White House was upset with that interview and the clarity that I brought about the epidemic.”

Birx – an expert on basic immunology, infectious diseases and vaccine research, among other areas of medicine – became part of the Mount Rushmore of medical experts who were harshly criticized by the president for contradicting his statements and creating a sense of urgency as the pandemic wore on.

Prior to that episode, though, in February of 2020, Birx was named the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, answering directly to Vice President Mike Pence, named by Trump to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Pence referred to Birx as his “right arm.” She left office on Jan. 20., 2021, the day Joe Biden was innaugurated as the country’s next president.

The weekend events will begin on May 7 at 6 p.m., when Pamela Diamantis – the principal and partner at Curbstone Financial Management Corporation and former trustee of the University System of New Hampshire –  will be the featured speaker.

Both ceremonies will recognize graduates from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.


Ray Duckler bio photo

Ray Duckler, our intrepid columnist, focuses on the Suncook Valley. He floats from topic to topic, searching for the humor or sadness or humanity in each subject. A native New Yorker, he loves the Yankees and Giants. The Red Sox and Patriots? Not so much.



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