Trump Lashes Out At Dr. Deborah Birx After She Agrees With Nancy Pelosi On COVID-19 Crisis
President Donald Trump attacked Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, on Twitter after she agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on coronavirus crisis in the U.S., painting an unflattering image of Trump administration response to the pandemic.
“So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!” Trump tweeted.
So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020
The tension started when Pelosi criticized Birx on ABC’s This Week for playing along with Trump’s optimism over the coronavirus crisis.
“I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus, and she is his appointee,” Pelosi said. “So I don’t have confidence there, no.”
Pelosi also reportedly grilled Birx in a closed-door meeting with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday, calling her “the worst.”
After Pelosi’s criticism, Birx spoke to CNN and dismissed her concerns over the credibility of her work.
“I have never been called Pollyanna-ish or nonscientific or non-data-driven,” Birx said. “And I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of utilizing data to really implement better programs to save more lives.”
She then offered a remark that contradicted to Trump’s positive approach over the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. and warned the country is about to enter a “new phase” of the pandemic. Birx also warned that deaths could reach 300,000 by the end of the year.
“What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread,” Birx said. “Anything is possible if we don’t have all – you know, public health is called public health because it has a public component. And we need all of the public to help us get control of this virus.”
After lashing out on Birx on Twitter, Trump was asked to comment on his tweet and elaborate on what he meant by it. He toned down his response, saying he had “a lot of respect ” for Birx and continued disregarding criticism over the coronavirus crisis.
“Well, I think that we’re doing very well and we have done as well as any nation,” he told reporters at a press briefing on Monday.
“I told Dr. Birx I think we’re doing very well. She was in my office a little while ago. She’s a person I have a lot of respect for. I think Nancy Pelosi’s treated her very badly,” Trump added. “And I’m just referring to the fact that I thought that, really, they should say the job we’ve done … I think we’re just doing very well.”