On Thursday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx praised President Donald Trump’s attentiveness and ability to analyze and integrate data, linking his capacity to do so with his business background.
Asked her perspective on Trump’s performance both with the public and “behind the scenes” by a host at Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Dr. Birx responded: “He’s been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data. And I think his ability to analyze and integrate data, that comes out of his long history in business, [has] really been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues. Because, in the end, data is data, and he understands the importance of the granularity.”
“I think he’s been really excited about finding the level of detail that we’ve been able to now bring over the last few weeks to really understand who’s at the greatest risk for severe illness, who will have mild and less asymptomatic disease, and really calling on every American to do that social distancing,” the doctor continued, “because some people may not know they are actually infected and be unknowingly spreading the virus.”
“And that all comes from the president seeing the data and then really directing these policies and the guidelines that go out to the American people,” Dr. Birx concluded.
The coordinator’s compliment to the president, as one might suspect, did not go over well with some folks on the Left. Former chair of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, for example, went as far as to declare Dr. Birx’s long distinguished career “killed.”
“In this Christian Broadcasting Network interview, is Birx flattering the president’s ‘ability to analyze and integrate data’ as a way to persuade him not to ignore data next week?” criticized CNN White House correspondent John Harwood.
Dean piled-on: “She has killed what was once her respectable career in Goveenmwnt [sic] service.”
She has killed what was once her respectable career in Goveenmwnt service. https://t.co/0YSTPjdtxA
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) March 27, 2020
The compliment triggered Vox to question the doctor’s credibility.
“Dr. Deborah Birx‘s outrageously effusive Trump praise raises questions about her credibility,” said Vox’s Aaron Rupar, captioning a piece he wrote for the outlet, titled: “Deborah Birx praised Trump as attentive to scientific literature and details. Nope.”
“Birx is a legend in the fight against HIV and has worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents,” admitted Rupar. “When it was announced in late February that she’d be coordinating the White House’s coronavirus task force, she was widely seen as bringing a modicum of public health expertise to an administration desperately in need of it.”
But her complimentary comments about Trump have now apparently nulled those credentials:
“But it has become clear that Birx wants to stay in Trump’s good graces. She praised Trump early on for implementing travel restrictions on China that did nothing to stop the spread of the coronavirus that was already happening within America’s borders in a largely undetected manner because of lack of testing,” he wrote, noting that Birx “raised a lot of eyebrows on Thursday with her effusive praise of President Donald Trump as ‘attentive to the scientific literature and the details’ during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.”
White House coronavirus coordinator DEBORAH BIRX touts Trump’s response in Q&A yesterday on Christian Broadcasting Network.
CBN HOST: How would you describe the job President Trump is doing?
BIRX: He’s been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data. pic.twitter.com/ytvfSzJwzZ
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 26, 2020