Birx has worked for decades in the medical field, largely focusing on combating and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The staffing move is likely intended to appease calls from many lawmakers for the Trump administration to appoint a "czar" to oversee the federal response to the coronavirus.
Birx currently serves as the ambassador-at-large for the State Department coordinating the U.S. efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. An Obama-era appointee, she has held that role since 2014.
She has in the past served as a physician in the U.S. Army and as director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. She spent nearly a decade as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Global HIV/AIDS.
Birx will be part of the White House's coronavirus task force and will be supported by the National Security Council. But she will report to Pence, who on Wednesday night was tasked with overseeing the federal government's response to coronavirus.more » « less