Aug 3, 2020 - Health

Pelosi: Birx "enabled" Trump on coronavirus misinformation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Monday she does not have confidence in White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx because "she has enabled" President Trump to spread coronavirus misinformation.

What she's saying: "I don't have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says, 'Swallow Lysol and it's going to cure your virus,'" Pelosi told host Jim Sciutto.

  • "There has to be some responsibility. So if the president is saying these things, who is advising him that this is OK and enabling that to happen while millions of people have died?" she added
  • Worth noting: Roughly 155,000 people in the U.S. have died due to the coronavirus while just under 700,000 have died worldwide, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Trump issued his first public criticism of Birx earlier Monday, tweeting that her response to Pelosi's criticism — which was first reported Friday by Politico — was "pathetic."

  • The president was responding to comments from Birx over the weekend that the U.S. has shifted into a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections have spread further into rural areas.
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