House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she lacks confidence in Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator and world-renowned public-health authority, because she was appointed by President Trump.
“I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus, and she is his appointee, and so I don’t have confidence there, no,” Mrs. Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Her comment came after Politico reported Friday that Mrs. Pelosi said in a private meeting Thursday that Dr. Birx was “the worst,” which came after a July 18 article in The New York Times that described her as overly optimistic about the impact of reopening the economy.
Dr. Birx took the high road, saying Sunday she had “tremendous respect for the speaker,” but bristled at The Times report.
“I have tremendous respect for the speaker, and I have tremendous respect for her long dedication to the American people, and I think it was unfortunate that The New York Times wrote this article without speaking to me,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I could have brought forth the data. I provide data every single day with an analysis.”
She disputed the contention that she was “Pollyanna-ish” in a report on her data. In the same report in which she found improvement in New York City, she said, she pointed to ongoing cases in Boston and Chicago, and new outbreaks in Houston, Baltimore, New Haven and Washington, D.C.
“This was not a Pollyannish view,” Dr. Birx said. “I have never been called Pollyannish or non-scientific 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.”
JUST IN: “I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” Speaker Pelosi tells @MarthaRaddatz when asked is she has confidence in Dr. Deborah Birx. https://t.co/HNQgCe39RNpic.twitter.com/ZDZYAjr0cJ— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 2, 2020
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