August 4, 2020 at 12:16 AM EDT
After months of favor, Birx raises Trump’s ire with grim coronavirus assessment
President Trump further disparaged his senior health advisers on Monday even as the pandemic deepened its hold on the nation, as the White House’s top coronavirus coordinator, Deborah Birx, joined Anthony S. Fauci and other scientists on the receiving end of the president’s ire.
Birx — who built a career leading public health efforts against HIV/AIDS — quickly garnered Trump’s favor earlier this year for publicly championing the administration’s coronavirus response, becoming a prominent figure both inside and outside the White House.
But she soon lost support within swaths of the scientific and medical community for seeming to minimize the virus and to enable Trump’s overly rosy view of the pandemic. This past weekend, Birx lost the backing of the nation’s top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who privately called Birx “the worst” and publicly said she had no confidence in her.
And finally on Monday morning, Birx appeared to lose ground with perhaps her most important constituency, Trump himself, who dismissed her as “pathetic.”
By Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb