(CNN) — President Donald Trump criticized Dr. Deborah Birx in a tweet on Monday after she noticed that the coronavirus is “extraordinarily widespread” in U.S.
Trump and other senior White House officials have previously publicly attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci. However, the tweet marks the first time that Birx, coordinator of the working group on coronavirus of the White House, arouses public anger at Trump.
The situation occurs at a time when the country continues to be devastated by the coronavirus, with more than 150,000 deaths and more than 4 million cases. Trump has consistently lied and cheated, especially in an attempt to downplay concerns about the virus while pushing for schools and businesses to reopen.
«Mad Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive about the very good work we are doing to combat the Virus of China, including Vaccines and Therapeutics. To counter Nancy, Deborah bit the hook and hit us. Pathetic!”, Trump wrote.
When Trump was asked what he meant in his tweet, the president sidestepped the query.
“Well, I think we are doing very well and we have done as well as any other nation,” he told reporters at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“I told Dr. Birx that I think we are doing very well. She was in my office a little while ago. She is a person for whom I have a lot of respect. I think Nancy Pelosi treated her very badly, “added Trump. “And I am referring to the fact that I thought that they should really say the work that we have done … I think we are doing very well,” he added.
Birx sounded the alarms during an appearance on CNN on Sunday when he told Dana Bash on State of the Union that the pandemic has reached a new phase.
“What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It is in rural as well as urban areas, ”she said, suggesting that some Americans in multi-generational families should start wearing masks inside their homes.
The doctor did not reject a warning made by former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Scott Gottlieb, who said that there could be 300,000 deaths by coronavirus by the end of the year. Birx stated: “Anything is possible.”
Birx too answered to the comments of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who said in This Week ABC that did not trust the coordinator of the working group because the president continued to spread disinformation.
“I think the President is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his designee, so I don’t have confidence there, no,” Pelosi said.
Birx fought back on Sunday.
“I’ve never been called overly optimistic, or unscientific, or not data-driven,” said Birx. “And I will bet my 40-year career on the fundamental principles of using data to actually implement better programs to save more lives,” he added.
The President was reluctant and said, “I think we are doing a great job.”
The president did not use the opportunity in front of journalists to criticize Birx or expand on his morning tweet.
Birx has been able to develop a close relationship with the Trump White House, which has tainted his reputation among some public health experts. He has avoided openly criticizing the government. Fauci, who has taken on a more public role with many media appearances, has gained more irritation from the president, who openly attacked him and questioned during a press conference last week why Fauci’s approval was so high.
And the White House commercial advisor Peter Navarro wrote an opinion piece on USA Today criticizing Fauci. The doctor “has been wrong about everything I interacted with,” he said.
The White House insisted that no effort has been made to undermine the country’s leading infectious disease expert, but Navarro said last week that he did not regret the opinion piece.
CNN’s Stephen Collinson, Veronica Stracqualursi, Allie Malloy, Maegan Vazquez and Alison Main all contributed to this report.