Why it matters: She’s better than any of the other public health officials at talking to Trump. While MAGA-land has spent weeks trying to get Anthony Fauci fired, Birx has been far more adept at influencing the president and shaping the administration’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic…

Birx is far from a folk hero. Her public praise of the president has drawn her criticism from the left as a brown-noser and a hack. One veteran official, however, described her as a consummate D.C. operator.

For instance, Birx has spoken warmly about her decades-long working relationship with Redfield and praised the CDC. On the other hand, she recently excoriated the quality of the CDC’s data in front of the task force. That message, which soon leaked to the media, resonated strongly with Trump, who is irritated by the CDC.

Officials credit Birx for playing an important role in convincing Trump in late March to buck his instincts and extend social distancing guidelines by 30 days. (But he soon undermined that advice by encouraging protesters to “liberate” themselves from their governors’ rules.)