CNN’s Brianna Keilar wasn’t having any of Dr. Deborah Birx’s excuses for the tsunami of dangerous COVID-19 lies that poured from the White House when she was coordinator of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.
“Birx is a cautionary tale about letting politics and power warp science until it is no longer science,” Keilar said on “Roll the Tape” Monday.
Despite Birx’s recent attempts to distance herself from the Trump administration, Keilar was dismissive of what she called the doctor’s “apology tour.” She played a news clip of Birx gushing that Trump was “so attentive to scientific literature” and facts early on in the pandemic.
On “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Birx shrugged off responsibility for misinformation from the White House about the pandemic and said the president was receiving a “parallel stream” of misleading data that overshadowed the accurate information Birx said she was providing.
When Trump appallingly suggested during a nationally televised news conference last year that people might consider an “injection” of disinfectant to battle the coronavirus, Birx appeared to grimace and not say anything. She insisted on CBS, however, that she uttered the words “no treatment” at the time — not particularly definitive, dismissive or instructive in any case. Days later, Birx said that Trump was only expressing “musings.”
“Her milquetoast answers gave life to really bad advice from Trump,” Keilar stated. “And keep in mind, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] had to put out a warning on ingesting disinfectants after a spike in calls to poison centers.”
When Birx was asked on CBS why she didn’t speak up to correct misinformation like infectious disease expert and task force scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci did, she said she wasn’t given the opportunity as often as he was to speak at news conferences. But she often spoke at news conferences and was relentlessly cheery. Fauci, on the other hand, said he was proud of his reputation as the “skunk at the picnic” who constantly sounded a note of caution about the pandemic.
Keilar called Birx’s behavior a disturbing lesson for other scientists.
“If they don’t stand up for science when it counts, when lives are on the line, their reputation can be wiped away,” she concluded. In Birx’s case, she said, all it took was “a little bleach.”
Check out Keilar’s full comments in the clip up top.
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