President Trump for the first time publicly criticized White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx for taking “the bait and hit us” in regards to her response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticism, calling it “pathetic.”
“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 tweeted. “In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”
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
Dr. Birx on Sunday was asked about Pelosi criticism, in which the House Speaker was reported to trashed the task force doctor as “the worst” and adding that they were in “horrible hands” with her, during a closed-door meeting with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“I have tremendous respect for the speaker. And I have tremendous respect for her long dedication to the American people,” Birx told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union,’ before criticizing a New York Times article that accused her tailoring her data analysis to suit the Trump Administration.
“This was not a pollyannish view,” Birx continued. “I’ve never been called pollyannish, or non-scientific, or non-data driven. And I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of using data to implement better programs and save lives.”
Dr. Birx also went on to deliver a warning that the U.S. is entering a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic as the virus is “more widespread” than when it first hit the nation earlier this year.
“What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. This epidemic right now is different and it’s more widespread and it’s both rural and urban,” Birx said. “It’s not super spreading individuals, it’s super spreading events and we need to stop those. We definitely need to take more precautions.”
Pelosi had harsh words for Birx and the Trump Administration in an interview Sunday morning with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz ’This Week,’ saying she doesn’t have “confidence” in the task force doctor.
“I think the president is spending disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee,” Pelosi said Sunday. “So, I don’t have confidence there, no.”
On Monday, Pelosi continued her criticism of Dr. Birx for “enabling” the president and not challenging him on remarks he has made.
“I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the President says, ‘Swallow Lysol, and it’s going to cure your virus.’ You know, it will kill you, and you won’t have the virus anymore,” Pelosi said on CNN. “I don’t have confidence in somebody who, when the President says, ‘It’s a hoax,’ ‘It’s magic,’ ‘It’s going to go away by magic,’ ‘It’s a miracle,’ and all of those things. So, no I don’t have confidence in her.”
Pelosi added, “She stood there. I think that she has – that she has enabled… This Administration has not had a strategic plan for the six months that we know about the coronavirus.”
Speaking to reporters during an executive order signing at the White House Monday afternoon, Trump was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about Dr. Fauci’s comments about hydroxychloroquine. The president didn’t expand on his Monday morning tweet that slammed on Birx, but stated he “like” the well-known infectious disease doctor, but both men “disagree on things.”
“I don’t agree with Fauci on everything,” Trump said. “It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, because he’s not. He’s a good person, I like him. But we disagree on things.”