Speed Reads


Trump's 'virus testing czar' was ousted from a job developing vaccines after a dismal performance evaluation

Adm. Brett Giroir is leading the U.S. government's charge to ramp up COVID-19 testing. He didn't have much luck at a similar job just a few years ago.

Before President Trump tapped Giroir to be the nation's "coronavirus testing czar," he was the head of vaccine development at Texas A&M University. And in 2015, he was given the choice of either resigning or being fired from that job because he wasn't acting like a "team player," The Washington Post reports.

Giroir spent eight years working on a variety of vaccination projects at Texas A&M before an annual performance review changed his fate. The review said Giroir was "more interested in promoting yourself" than his health science center, a local newspaper reported at the time, and he apparently struggled with being a "team player." Because of that, Giroir was told he "had 30 minutes to resign or he would be fired," the Post reports.

Giroir credited his ouster to academic politics, which "makes politics in Washington look like a minor league scrimmage," he told the Post. "I'm a team player. But not to people who act inappropriately, who are misogynistic and who are abusive to other people," he added. Giroir said he was "heartbroken" to leave the job, but said his work there could help inform efforts to create a COVID-19 vaccine. Giroir's former coworkers expressed confidence in his ability to lead the country's coronavirus testing effort. Read more at The Washington Post.