During Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing, many viewers were fixated on Dr. Deborah Birx's latest distinctive scarf. The garment got even more attention when President Donald Trump suggested that people could use "a scarf" in place of a surgical mask, with supplies still low. Viewers wondered if the president had his eye on Birx's fashion statement as well.
The president spoke to reporters and to the nation live on Tuesday afternoon about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Among other things, he addressed the shortage of gloves, masks and other protective equipment needed by hospital staff right now. He suggested that a scarf could be used in place of a surgical mask if non were available, adding: "there's certainly no harm."
Viewers did not fail to notice that Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force was standing just six feet away from the president in an extravagant red and gold scarf. Birx has become noted for her scarves in recent weeks as viewers have seen a lot of her in the coronavirus press briefings.
Many were outraged at the president's suggestion that a scarf was an adequate replacement for much-needed protective equipment. They saw this as an insult to the doctors and nurses putting their lives on the line to save people from this global pandemic. They also imagined that the idea must have occurred to him after seeing Birx nearby on the stage.
Here is what Twitter has to say about Dr. Birx's scarf.
Birx can tie a scarf like nobody's business...— Tasha Smith (@dymepackage) March 31, 2020
Dr Birx's scarf game is undefeated.— B.RICH 🏴☠️🇺🇸🏴☠️ (@LARich2020) March 31, 2020
First off, many people praised Dr. Birx's style when it comes to scarves. All at once, a vast number of Twitter users seemed to realize that they had seen Birx in a scarf at many recent press conferences, and they thought she was pulling the look off.
How many scarves does Dr. Birx own? Dang.— Debbie 6 Feet back MF (@DebbieFineNP) March 31, 2020
Oh good....the scarf doctor is on— donna valenti (@shoregirl123) March 31, 2020
Others were surprised at themselves for not noticing the scarves sooner. They joked about the pricy-looking accessories, imagining that Dr. Birx was likely a collector of some kind.
POTUS said that med professionals can use scarves if they don't have masks... A scarf, to protect from #COVID_19? If you're a WH Correspondent you have an obligation to challenge Drs. Fauci/Birx to confirm that this is an accurate statement! Don't just pivot to prepared questions— T.J. (@TJ_Breeden) March 31, 2020
Some felt that Trump should have been pressed harder after mentioning that scarves could be used in place of sanctioned PPE, and that reporters had an obligation to question him further. They noted that reporters could have easily turned to Dr. Birx or Dr. Fauci for further questioning.
Dr. Birx will be offering her scarf collection online after this press briefing.🙂🙂— Sue Edelman (@SueEdelman) March 31, 2020
Some joked that Dr. Birx could make some quick money by selling her scarf collection after today's press briefing, since the president had now endorsed the items for protective purposes.
If all the scarves get bought up what will Dr. Birx wear every day of her life?— La Jolla Liberal (@LaJollaLiberal) March 31, 2020
Along the same lines, others wondered if Dr. Birx would be dismayed to find scarves suddenly a hot commodity due to the president's statement.
Leading by Example
IQ45 words of wisdom "Wear a scarf." Thankfully, Birx listened.— Michael Dell'Amico (@mldell) March 31, 2020
Meanwhile, many considered the possibility that Trump and Dr. Birx had actually planned the scarf bit ahead of time, though that was just joking speculation.
I'm convinced that when Dr. Birx takes off her scarf, her head falls off à la a scary campfire story. pic.twitter.com/sxoXi8lKcn— 217 days and counting (@MeThatYouKnow) March 31, 2020
Finally, some related Dr. Birx's scarves to scary stories and folklore, wondering if it was hiding something sinister.
For the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the CDC's website.