Deborah Birx has spanned two successful careers as both a physician and a diplomat. As a doctor, she focused on AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health initiatives. In 2014, she moved into government work, overseeing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which brought HIV treatment and prevention help to 65 countries. Under President Barak Obama, she served as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and continued in that job under the Trump administration. She served as the U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy from 2015 through 2021 and was on the White House Coronavirus Task Force from February 2021 to January 2021.
Why They Made the Worthy 100: In June 2022, Birx appeared before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, where she testified on the Trump administration’s pandemic response efforts. During her testimony, she stated that because Trump prioritized politics over science and the advice of public health experts, the nation was critically handicapped in its fight against COVID-19. She called for an integrated database that would connect clinics, laboratories, and public health institutions not only to continue the fight against COVID-19 but to respond much more quickly and effectively to future pandemics. She also recently published a book, Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, COVID-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late, which gives readers an inside perspective on her attempts to build a functioning COVID-19 data program under Trump and how those efforts ultimately fell apart.