According to the New York Post, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made a very candid attack on coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday — and now, President Donald Trump is angry at the doctor as well.
Pelosi goes on the attack
Unlike Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Birx has been the target of some suspicion from Democrats and media figures who claim that she has not done enough to contradict Trump’s claims about the coronavirus. She lost favor with many journalists after defending Trump’s infamous remarks about injecting disinfectant as a means of fighting viruses.
Pelosi aired some of those grievances, first privately, and then publicly, telling ABC’s Martha Raddatz that she cannot trust Birx because she works for Trump.
“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, according to the BBC.
In response, Birx was characteristically diplomatic, telling CNN that she had “tremendous respect” for Pelosi. At the same time, Birx defended her reputation against a New York Times piece, mentioned by Pelosi as a dig at Birx in a meeting last week, that presented Birx as “pollyannaish” about the virus.
“This was not a pollyannish view,” Birx said, as The New York Times later noted. “I’ve never been called pollyannish, or non-scientific, or non-data driven. I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of using data to implement better programs and save lives.”
Trump: Birx is “pathetic”
This response, unfortunately, only added fuel to the fire.
Incensed, President Trump called Dr. Birx “pathetic” in a tweet Monday, accusing her of having “[taken] the bait,” according to Fox. In her CNN interview, Birx said that the virus is entering a “new phase” and is “extraordinarily widespread,” as The Hill reported.
Meanwhile, Pelosi continued to attack Birx on Monday, mentioning the disinfectant episode again and very plainly expressing her dislike of the doctor. “I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says, swallow Lysol, it’s going to cure your virus. It’ll kill you and you won’t have the virus anymore,” the speaker said, according to The Hill.
Recounting a meeting last week with White House officials, Pelosi said that Birx came up during a conversation about contact tracing and that she immediately dismissed the idea of working with her. “I said, sure, [if] it’s not Dr. Birx.”
Leave it to Pelosi to launch a vicious attack like this. Birx was far too polite.