House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she had no confidence in White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx — an astounding declaration that came days after a closed-door meeting where the California Democrat first leveled the rebuke.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Pelosi was pressed on criticism first reported by Politico.
“Deborah Birx is the worst. Wow, what horrible hands you’re in,” Politico reported Pelosi told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at a closed-door meeting Friday.
According to Politico, Pelosi accused Birx of spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, while praising fellow task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, who she said “came to his senses, and is now a hero.”
Asked about the startling remarks, Pelosi doubled down Sunday.
“I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” she said.
In a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Birx defended herself, focusing on criticism of her upbeat analysis by the New York Times.
“I have tremendous respect for the Speaker. I have respect for her long dedication to the American people,” she said of Pelosi’s criticism.
But she then turned to the Times quote.
“I think it was unfortunate that the New York Times wrote this article without speaking to me. I could have brought forth the data. I provide data every single day with an analysis,” she said.
“The day that they are talking about that I was, quote, Pollyannaish. It said there was improvement in the New York” metrics “but ongoing cases in Boston and Chicago and new outbreak in Houston and … spread and outbreaks in Baltimore and New Haven and Washington, D.C.
“This was not a Pollyannaish review and I have never been called that or nonscientific or non-data driven and stake my 40-year career on the fundamental principles of utilizing data to really implement better programs to save more lives.”
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