Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the White House’s leading COVID-19 experts, has reportedly grown disillusioned with her diminished role on the task force.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Birx’s distress is rooted in the addition of Dr. Scott Atlas, who peddles misleading but Trump-friendly talking points about the pandemic, to the response team. Meanwhile, Birx has been largely relegated to the sidelines in stark contrast to her previous role as the White House’s top COVID-19 expert who regularly stood by Trump’s side during his press briefings.
“The President has found somebody who matches what he wants to believe,” a source told CNN. “There is no doubt that she feels that her role has been diminished.”
Birx is reportedly unsure whether she’ll remain on the task force. She is currently traveling across the country to inform communities of protective measures they can take against the virus, such as wearing masks.
Atlas, who is not an epidemiologist, has propped up President Donald Trump’s push for schools to reopen and floated the controversial “herd immunity” strategy to combat the virus.
Atlas’ comments spurred 78 doctors and researchers at Stanford Medical School to issue a joint letter condemning his “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science.” In response, Atlas sicced Trump’s lawyer on the school’s faculty.