Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, was reportedly stung by President Trump’s first tweet criticizing her, an individual familiar with her response told CNN.
- Trump had previously praised the doctor, but after an appearance on CNN in which she gave a more accurate description of the state of the pandemic, calling it “extraordinarily widespread,” the president changed his tune.
- Trump responded by tweeting:
"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!"
- President Trump has been downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic since the very start. He offered up praise to Dr. Birx in the past when she provided a more optimistic view of the pandemic.
- Dr. Birx has been less hopeful about the state of the pandemic in recent days, saying during her CNN appearance:
"What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas."
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has questioned Dr. Birx’s influence, particularly as she is a Trump appointee. She said in an interview on ABC’s “The Week”:
"I think the President is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee, so I don't have confidence there, no."