Deborah Birx denies reports she’s leaving COVID-19 task force over ‘diminished’ role
Dr. Deborah Birx has pushed backed on reports that she is “distressed” with the direction of the White House coronavirus task force she joined in February and is considering leaving.
“Do I look like a person that is diminished?” the task force coordinator said when asked Thursday about a CNN report which claimed the health official was unhappy about her shrinking role on the panel.
“I’ll tell you, that is the first time those adjectives have ever been used in describing my behavior,” Birx went on during a livestreamed news conference at Auburn University in Alabama, per an Associated Press report.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic that is affecting Americans. As an American, I think I can do the best service to my country right now by serving in this role, working across the agencies because that is the experience that I have,” she said.
A CNN report published Wednesday claimed the 64-year-old physician had confided in friends about the “nightmarish” situation inside the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic and was considering leaving.
Birx is reportedly concerned by the recent controversial addition of Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist and Stanford professor, as a coronavirus advisor to the president.
Birx, who is also the US government’s HIV/AIDS ambassador, believes Atlas is feeding misinformation to Trump, including on the efficacy of masks, the report said.
Both the White House and Atlas denied there was bad blood between the pair.
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