While on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump claimed he did not need to know anything about the job of President because he would have only the best people on his team.
But after winning the electoral vote—and losing the popular vote—Trump's staffing choices failed to live up to his campaign promise.
A number of cabinet members resigned after scandals or were forced out when Trump claimed they were incompetent. White House and Trump campaign staff also suffered the same issues as well as indictments and convictions for various crimes.
Now with a viral pathogen that is highly contagious with a high death rate—a combination not seen since the 1918 influenza outbreak that infected 500 million and claimed at least 50 million lives—sweeping across the globe, getting those best people on the Trump administration's pandemic task force is critical.
While Dr. Anthony Fauci—of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—earns high praise, not every task force member is so regarded. The resume and reputation of Trump's hand picked lead for testing, Brett Giroir, doesn't stand up to the same scrutiny Dr. Fauci's does.
Giroir is tasked with getting the inadequate testing deployment and processing on track. His eight years in vaccine development projects at Texas A&M University would seem to make him a good fit.
However in 2015, Giroir was abruptly removed from the project—given just 30 minutes to pack and get out or be fired.
Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing coronavirus testing efforts, says his experience working on vaccine dâ�¦ https://t.co/0iM6q8baaw— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1587400223.0
According to records regarding his removal, Giroir was cited for being a poor team member. A specific criticism concerned Giroir's focus, saying he was "more interested in promoting [him]self" than the work being done.
Admiral Giroir told in 2015 he had 30 minutes to resign or would be fired. His annual evaluation at Texas A&M, saidâ�¦ https://t.co/GWb8DW8ezi— Peter Morley (@Peter Morley)1587399574.0
Giroir blamed his forced resignation on academic politics and not his own failings in an interview with The Washington Post.
"If you're not familiar with academic politics, it makes politics in Washington look like a minor league scrimmage."
"I'm a team player. But not to people who act inappropriately, who are misogynistic and who are abusive to other people. I don't have a loyalty to that. I have a loyalty to my faculty and my students. And that's what I care about. . . . It's better to be independent and stand your ethical ground."
Giroir declined to offer to elaborate or corroborate his claims, saying:
"I'll just leave it at that."
However those who worked with him said he routinely "over-promised and under-delivered."
Giroir works under Health and Human Service (DHHS) head Alex Azar whose own qualifications have been challenged often. He serves as the assistant secretary for health in DHHS and head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commisioned Corps which is why he wears a uniform and uses the title admiral.
People have been unimpressed with Giroir's work since being named Trump's testing czar.
They're unsurprised by the revelations from Giroir's work past or why someone who was more interested in self promotion than results would appeal to the President.
Admiral Giroir has FAILED to get the testing the United states NEEDS for #COVIDã�¼19 He was forced out of Texas A&Mâ�¦ https://t.co/OfgQ9xWUQx— Peter Morley (@Peter Morley)1587403180.0
After a lengthy briefing, its unfortunate the head of testing on the coronavirus task force, Adm Giroir was presentâ�¦ https://t.co/RINdaHtIQh— Kelly O'Donnell (@Kelly O'Donnell)1587341422.0
@KellyO He could have spoken up when Trump was ranting at CBS reporter and asking â��how many cases did we have whenâ�¦ https://t.co/HT6FP5Ktcy— badbullpen (@badbullpen)1587341974.0
New "testing czar" Brett Giroir fired from last job at Texas A&M...was told he had 30 minutes to resign or he wouldâ�¦ https://t.co/9Kkzw7oOm7— KrisS ð��¥ Your Vote, Your Voice ð��¥ (@KrisS ð��¥ Your Vote, Your Voice ð��¥)1587391384.0
Trump has increasingly put responsibility for testing on states. When a doctor emailed Brett Giroir, the WH testingâ�¦ https://t.co/fdr8j0JnCz— Rebecca Ballhaus (@Rebecca Ballhaus)1587329262.0
Texas A&M University in 2015 gave Brett Giroir 30 minutes to resign or he'd be fired. Now Trump has hired him & putâ�¦ https://t.co/tRy2Wfsxyx— Harland Gundlefinger (@Harland Gundlefinger)1587409908.0
Giroir fired from Texas A&M for "over-promising and under-delivering." Sounds like he's perfectly suited to workâ�¦ https://t.co/jRyTuL9VaI— Karee Weber (@Karee Weber)1587394327.0
We are so fuqqed but now we know why Trump picked him Giroir spent 8 yrs wkg on a variety of vaccination projectsâ�¦ https://t.co/SFxe5QOMNH— ð��¿Justice is Served (@ð��¿Justice is Served)1587399290.0
The next day, at the White House briefing, Giroir said only 4.5 million tests would be needed, based on an estimateâ�¦ https://t.co/zCiBK29Si6— Rebecca Ballhaus (@Rebecca Ballhaus)1587329017.0
Name rung a bell to me. Sure enough, I interviewed Dr. Brett Giroir when I worked in Austin for a story on the greeâ�¦ https://t.co/XVdHJ4c9Zq— Chris Sadeghi (@Chris Sadeghi)1587394925.0
And several cited cases of over promising and under delivering by Giroir.
March 21, Admiral Giroir of HHS said at the WH briefing of laboratory tests for COVID-19: "we expect that, by Marchâ�¦ https://t.co/d941THJUEq— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1587315118.0
@FoxReports â��We have put over 10 MILLION laboratory tests into the U.S. commercial market. By March 28th, we expectâ�¦ https://t.co/ZaLVuAAEfv— Darrel Henschell (@Darrel Henschell)1587151440.0
We can't fix the economic crisis without first significantly reducing the healthcare crisis. We can't reduce theâ�¦ https://t.co/IufaZBdruT— Bill McBride (@Bill McBride)1587243341.0
As of Monday, April 20, 789,439 people in the United States were confirmed to have the virus. The death toll has reached 42,186.
By the end of the week, infected is expected to reach over one million and deaths over 50,000.
The book The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History is available here.