'Pathetic!': Trump Blasts COVID Adviser Birx

President accuses her of caving to pressure, issuing gloomy coronavirus outlook
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2020 11:40 AM CDT
'Pathetic!': Trump Blasts COVID Adviser Birx
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, left, listens as President Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House on July 23, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump isn't shy about expressing displeasure with Dr. Anthony Fauci, and on Monday he slammed fellow COVID adviser Dr. Deborah Birx for the first time, reports Axios. Trump's criticism came after Birx issued a dire coronavirus outlook for the US, saying the disease was in a "new phase" and was now more widespread than it was in March or April. The president accused Birx of caving to pressure from Nancy Pelosi, who'd earlier criticized Birx for going along with the president too much and painting too rosy of a picture. "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," Trump wrote. "In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!"

The background on that Pelosi criticism: Last week, Politico reported that in a closed-door meeting, the House speaker told top White House officials that Birx "was the worst" and that the White House was in "horrible hands" with her because Birx was spreading misinformation—or at least allowing Trump to spread it. Pelosi has since repeated similar criticism publicly, including on CNN Monday, when she said: "I don't have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says, 'Swallow Lysol and it's going to cure your virus.'" On Sunday, Birx defended herself against the Pelosi criticism, again on CNN. "I have never been called Pollyannish, or nonscientific, or non-data driven," she 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." (More President Trump stories.)

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