Political Education


Dr. Deborah Birx was responsible for coordinating the previous administration’s White House coronavirus response. She recently made news when she admitted in a CNN interview

“There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original (coronavirus) surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.” 

Brix further revealed that the White House refused to let her speak with the national press or honestly discuss the disease’s threat to the American people. Dr. Brix knew that the White House disinformation campaign would contribute to a public health disaster. 

How could a dedicated public servant allow themself to be manipulated for political ends? Jerald terHorst was an example of a public servant with integrity. Jerald terHorst had been a reporter in Michigan who went on to be bureau chief of the Detroit News. He later served as the Ford Motor Company’s Washington spokesman. terHorst had covered Gerald Ford’s political career in Michigan since the late 1940s. When Gerald R. Ford became president following President Nixon’s resignation, he appointed terHorst as White House Press Secretary. 

terHorst had been on the job for just one month when Ford pardoned Nixon. Reporter Thomas M. DeFrank asked terHorst, “Has anybody on the President’s staff resigned in protest over the pardon?” “Yes,” he said. “Who?” “Me.” 

terHorst felt that Nixon had been such a disgrace that he should have faced justice and didn’t deserve to be pardoned. Despite his personal regard for Ford, terHorst would not defend a decision that he thought was egregiously wrong. In his letter of resignation, terHorst wrote

“I do not know how I could credibly defend that decision in the absence of a like decision to grant absolute pardon to the young men who evaded Vietnam military service as a matter of conscience and the absence of pardons for former aides and associates of Mr. Nixon who have been charged with crimes — and imprisoned — stemming from the same Watergate situation.” 

Jerry terHorst’s legacy will be that of a public servant who served- and resigned- with integrity. What will Dr. Brix’s legacy be?


Thanks and a tip of the hat to Donkey Hotey for the image of Dr. Brix. See more of Donkey Hotey’s art at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/albums/with/72157673325170393

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