Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that Ambassador Deborah Birx will join the coronavirus task force as White House coronavirus response director.
“Ambassador Birx is a world renowned global health official and physician,” the vice president’s office wrote in a statement announcing the new role. “She will be detailed to the Vice President’s office and will report to Vice President Mike Pence.”
Pence also announced that U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams would join the coronavirus task force.
Former President Barack Obama nominated Birx to serve as both the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large and the U.S.’s Global AIDS coordinator back in 2014. (RELATED: President Trump Appoints Vice President Pence To Head Coronavirus Task Force)
President Donald Trump touched on her new role during his Wednesday coronavirus press conference in the Brady Briefing Room, but he did not mention Birx by name.
“Whatever happens we’re totally prepared. We have the best people in the world. You see that from the study. We have the best prepared people, the best people in the world. Congress is willing to give us much more than we’re even asking for,” Trump told the crowd of gathered reporters. “That’s nice for a change. But we are totally ready, willing and able. It’s a term we use. Ready, willing and able. It’s going to be very well-under control.”
The vice president’s office noted that Birx will continue to monitor the United States’ AIDS initiatives in addition to her work on the coronavirus task force.