Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi brought White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to her office Thursday night for a private meeting over the coronavirus aid package. Deliberations were going nowhere fast. The discussion took a turn when Pelosi randomly began to criticize Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator.
Pelosi decided to choose a favorite between Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. For some reason, she went all mean girl on Birx and told Mark Meadows and Steven Mnuchin that Deborah is “the worst”. Dr Fauci, however, is labeled “a hero”.
Deborah Birx is the worst. Wow, what horrible hands you’re in,” Pelosi said to the pair, accusing the physician of spreading misinformation about the pandemic, the report said.
She went on to praise Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the coronavirus task force, who she said: “Came to his senses, and is now a hero.”
What, now? What is happening to San Fran Gran lately? She is really escalating her remarks and making sure that her words make it into the press. I mean, she’s always been snippy and aggressively partisan but these days she has gotten noticeably more so. Ever since the House’s efforts to impeach President Trump cratered during the Senate impeachment trial, she is the Queen of the Mean Girls. So much for women supporting women, amirite?
Pelosi’s war on women is odd in this instance but it may be explained by a building resentment towards Birx as she sidesteps publicly criticizing the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps Pelosi was put off by a piece in the New York Times about Birx. The article described daily early morning meetings in Meadows’ office with a small group of aides. Dr. Birx attends these meetings and is the only medical person present. The agenda of the meetings center around guiding the administration through the public health, economic, and political disasters facing the nation. And, the meetings address the desire of the White House to put more responsibility on states to handle the coronavirus response, lessening the reliance on the federal government. Blame is put on Dr. Birx for providing her opinion back in April that the nation was in good shape – an optimistic opinion that the United States would resemble Italy in how coronavirus cases spike and then gradually ease back down. The implication is that she was too positive in her assessment, only providing happy news, not the more dire reality on the ground.
For scientific affirmation, they turned to Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the sole public health professional in the Meadows group. A highly regarded infectious diseases expert, she was a constant source of upbeat news for the president and his aides, walking the halls with charts emphasizing that outbreaks were gradually easing. The country, she insisted, was likely to resemble Italy, where virus cases declined steadily from frightening heights.
On April 11, she told the coronavirus task force in the Situation Room that the nation was in good shape. Boston and Chicago are two weeks away from the peak, she cautioned, but the numbers in Detroit and other hard-hit cities are heading down.
A sharp pivot soon followed, with consequences that continue to plague the country today as the virus surges anew.
Even as a chorus of state officials and health experts warned that the pandemic was far from under control, Mr. Trump went, in a matter of days, from proclaiming that he alone had the authority to decide when the economy would reopen to pushing that responsibility onto the states. The government issued detailed reopening guidelines, but almost immediately, Mr. Trump began criticizing Democratic governors who did not “liberate” their states.
In other words, Dr. Birx supported measures taken by the Trump administration as they encouraged businesses to re-open by following the guidelines put forth by the coronavirus task force. Democrats want the country to remain on a widespread lockdown, at least until the presidential election in November, because they know that good news on the recovery front benefits President Trump and his administration. Democrats and Trump opponents have consistently talked down the economy since Trump began experiencing such a high level of success with it in the first three years of his term. Some have even openly wished for a recession in order to tank Trump’s chances of re-election. Now that we are having an economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats hope to ride it to election day.
Why would Pelosi call Dr. Fauci a “hero”? Maybe because he is willing to speak up and disagrees with Trump. There have been some public disagreements and Fauci has become the darling of the left. He has attained celebrity status and yet his track record during the pandemic has not been stellar. Like the rest of the public health officials in the country, Fauci has changed his advice on how to mitigate the pandemic and continues to admit that the experts still don’t know all they need to know about the virus. But, hey, he has a baseball card now. Pelosi swooned, “They’ve sold more baseball cards of him than anyone in history.” Meadows’ response was priceless: “That’s because he throws a wicked curveball. He’s really dedicated to no one catching anything.” Fauci, you may have seen, did not score points for his pitching skills during the Nationals – Yankees MLB opener. He threw a wild first pitch.
Most of all, Pelosi trashing Dr. Birx points to the fact that she is trying to distract from the fact that she is unable to reach a deal with the White House or the Senate on the coronavirus aid package. The Senate, for example, has presented several offers and none have been accepted or even countered by Pelosi and the Democrats. Instead, what is heard from Pelosi are partisan attacks – “We don’t have shared values. That’s just the way it is.” Meanwhile, emergency talks are happening on Capitol Hill today because unemployment benefits expired Friday night and millions of Americans are in worse shape than they were, thanks to Pelosi.