President Donald Trump criticized Dr. Deborah Birx on twitter after she warned that the pandemic is “extraordinarily widespread” in the US
While Dr. Anthony Fauci has been publicly attacked by Trump and other top White House officials, the tweet marked the first time Birx, who is the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, provoked Trump’s anger.
This started when Birx sounded the alarms during an interview, where she said that the pandemic has reached a new phase. “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas,” she said, suggesting that Americans who find themselves in multi-generational families should start wearing masks inside their homes.
She also did not reject a warning by former Federal Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb that there could be 300,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of the year, saying, “Anything is possible.”
Birx also responded to remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said on an interview that she did not believe in the task force coordinator as a result of the President Trump’s consistent spread of disinformation. “I think the President is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee, so I don’t have confidence there, no,” Pelosi said.
Birx then defended herself by saying that “I have never been called pollyannish, or nonscientific, or non-data driven, and I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of utilizing data to really implement better programs to save more lives.”
In his tweet attacking Birx, Trump wrote that “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!”
When asked what he meant in his tweet, President Donald Trump found a way out of answering the question.
In a press briefing, he told the reporters that “Well, I think that we’re doing very well and we have done as well as any nation.”
“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.”
At an executive order signing on Monday, Trump was asked why coronavirus task force health experts were contradicting him. He objected by saying “I think we’re doing a great job.” He however, did not give more insight into his tweet towards Deborah Birx.
Birx has been able to, in the course of her work, develop a close relationship with the Trump White House, which has resulted in a taint of her reputation among some public health experts. She has refrained from openly criticizing the administration. Fauci, who has taken a more public-facing role with many media appearances, has invited more wrath from the President, who openly attacked the doctor and questioned why his approval was so high during a meeting last week.