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White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx has become a near-daily fixture on many Americans' television screens because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She's no stranger to the U.S. govermment's efforts to advance public health, however.
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Vice President Pence referred to her as "probably the leading expert on infectious disease in the world" during Tuesday's FOX Town Hall, although that praise is often applied to her fellow task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Birx has a background in immunology and was appointed U.S. Global AIDS coordinator by former President Barack Obama in 2014.
She is also a veteran. Birx began her career as a Department of Defense clinician in 1985, and she achieved the rank of colonel and garnered awards for bringing the Navy, Army and Air Force together to fight HIV/AIDS, according to her State Department bio.
"Obviously, I come out of the military — I know the amazing work of the men and women in uniform and the work that they can do," Birx told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" last week.
Birx is also an ambassador for coordinating the U.S. fight against HIV/AIDS.
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"We want combination solutions at the state level – at the local level," she said. "Whether we've learned from the Chinese about creating what we've been calling COVID wards — creating the ability to actually care for larger numbers of clients and patients in a more concentrated way which allows more oversights so we could really track patients."
President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Birx is a Pennsylvania native who earned her medical degree from from the Hershey School of Medicine at Pennsylvania State University.
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As she educates the American public about minimizing the spread of coronavirus, Birx's classic fashion choices have made headlines, especially for her affinity for silk scarfs.
"She’s worn a series of bright colored scarves with lovely designs, which makes you wonder: did this worldly and profoundly knowledgeable woman get it in some far-away place during her lifetime of international health expertise?" Spectator USA's Marlo Safi wrote. "When this is all over, and I emerge from my home like a cavewoman … I’ll at least be taking some style pointers from Deborah Birx."