House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) didn’t mince words on Sunday morning, declaring that she has no “confidence” in White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, whom she blamed for President Donald Trump peddling coronavirus disinformation.
Last week, during a closed-door meeting with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Politico reported that the speaker tore into Birx. “Deborah Birx is the worst. Wow, what horrible hands you’re in,” she reportedly exclaimed.
Pelosi also accused Birx of “spreading disinformation” while simultaneously praising top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci—who has found himself in Team Trump’s crosshairs of late—as a “hero.”
Asked whether her reported comments were accurate, Pelosi doubled down on her Birx criticism during an appearance on ABC’s This Week.
“I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” the House leader huffed.
At the end of a contentious CNN interview that included host Dana Bash pressing her on why the administration’s coronavirus response “failed so badly,” Birx was asked to react to Pelosi’s harsh remarks.
“I have tremendous respect for the speaker,” Birx deflected. “And I have tremendous respect for her long dedication to the American people.”
The White House coronavirus task force member then turned her attention to The New York Times, which recently published a deep-dive into the administration’s “failure” in containing the pandemic and reported that Birx was only giving good news to Trump.
“And I think it was unfortunate that The New York Times wrote this article without speaking to me. I could have brought forth the data,” she complained, defending her record. “I provide data every single day with an analysis. The day that they are talking about that I was ‘Pollyannish.’”
“It said there was improvement in the New York metro, but ongoing cases in Boston and Chicago, a new outbreak in Houston and full logarithmic spread, and new concerning outbreaks in Baltimore, New Haven, and Washington, D.C,” she continued. “This was not a Pollyannish view. 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.”