Good for her. A Sunday morning political show gave Dr. Birx a chance to respond to Speaker Pelosi’s snide remarks about her as she was interviewed on CNN. She was asked about Pelosi’s criticism of her during a private meeting with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchen on Friday night. Birx delivered an unequivocal response.
Pelosi’s remarks against Birx were leaked to the press, of course, and it seems that her vitriol toward Birx came from a New York Times article in July. In that critical piece against Dr. Birx and her performance during the coronavirus pandemic, Birx was described as “Pollyannish” and avoids delivering bad news to President Trump. This accusation revolved around the fact that Birx thought at the time that the coronavirus spread in the U.S. would resemble that of as in Italy. She predicted that the virus would rise dramatically but then peak and begin to decline. No one from the NYT bothered to interview Dr. Birx before publishing the hit piece, by the way. When the coronavirus moved aggressively to southern states, her prediction was proven to have been overly optimistic.
San Fran Gran accused Birx of delivering misinformation. She called her “the worst.” “Wow, what horrible hands you’re in,” she told Meadows and Mnuchen. When asked about her trash-talking Birx on ABC’s Sunday morning show, Pelosi dug in.
Asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether the account was true and if she has confidence in Birx, Pelosi said, “I think the President is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee, so I don’t have confidence there, no.”
Sure, her remarks are mostly a slam against Trump because she can’t talk about anything without bringing in her contempt for him, and Republicans in general, back into focus. Nonetheless, she was calling Dr. Birx a liar. Birx was asked for her response by CNN’s Dana Bash. Birx began by politely acknowledging her respect for Pelosi’s very long political career and then opened fire.
“I have tremendous respect for the speaker, and I have tremendous respect for her long dedication to the American people,” Birx said, adding, though, that she could have “brought forth the data” to back up her analysis had the Times spoken with her.
“I have never been called pollyannish, or nonscientific, or non-data driven,” Birx said. “And I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of utilizing data to really implement better programs to save more lives.”
She went on to say that the NYT’s ran that piece without speaking with her. Birx prides herself on her data collection and using it to put forth the best recommendations during a pandemic. It’s what she does. Pelosi, an 80-year-old woman who can barely string together a couple of sentences which would make her sound articulate, is a power-thirsty swamp creature determined to keep everything as dire as possible until after November 3. Dr. Birx has been more humble throughout the pandemic than, say, Dr. Fauci who is reveling in the spotlight as the left’s superstar.
Birx thinks we have entered a new phase of the coronavirus outbreak. She noted it is “extraordinarily widespread” in urban and rural areas.
“What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas,” Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Birx stressed that Americans need to follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
“To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus,” Birx said. “If you’re in multi-generational households, and there’s an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.”
“This epidemic right now is different and it’s more widespread and it’s both rural and urban,” she added.
She didn’t want to predict how many deaths would be recorded by the end of the year from the virus but said it depends on how southern and western states, the current hot spots, maintain and accelerate their mitigation efforts. “It’s not super spreading individuals, it’s super spreading events and we need to stop those. We definitely need to take more precautions.” This is a remark that I heard from several “experts” on the coronavirus during the Sunday morning shows. All were concerned that people don’t take the seriousness of the virus into account and protect themselves accordingly.
Dr. Birx spoke of listening to the CDC’s recommendation to re-open schools. However, it sounded more like she puts school re-opening in the same category as large gatherings, which she is against at this point.
Bash on Sunday asked Birx if schools in states with a 5% positivity rate should remained closed or have distance learning only.
“If you have high case load and active community spread, just like we are asking people not to go to bars, not to have household parties, not to create large spreading events, we are asking people to distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control,” Birx responded, though she deferred to CDC guidelines on school reopenings.
What continues to amaze me is how much everyone is still flying by the seat of our pants, almost six months into this plague. It’s no wonder people are stressed out and on edge. Advice one day changes the next. Cases are surging, no they are not surging. It’s a second wave, no the second wave isn’t here. It’s maddening. On my own local level, cases are still spiking but deaths are not. Fewer people are being hospitalized with such serious cases but younger people are becoming more seriously ill. Even with countywide shutdowns, cases rose so that isn’t necessarily the answer. Lockdowns destroy businesses but haven’t destroyed the virus. The coronavirus isn’t going away and now the midwest is on alert as being the next hot spot area. The virus is traveling the country, section by section, with no end in sight.