Trump is driving Birx’s balancing act to the limit

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President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Deborah Birx’s balancing act between science and US President Donald Trump’s disinformation may be reaching the point of no return.

The US coronavirus task force official has been caught in an unenviable spot, juggling her public health mission and reputation with the need to stay in the good graces of Trump, who has shown both a penchant for touting unproven therapies and a willingness to show his critics the exit.

Birx, a physician and diplomat, came under scrutiny Thursday when she failed, in real time, to correct Trump’s assertion at the White House briefing that injecting disinfectant into the body might combat the virus. She further compromised her science focus Sunday by defending the President’s remark as an example of the way he processes information aloud.

But Birx is facing what may become an even more difficult challenge to her credibility in the weeks ahead: the gap between the insufficient level of coronavirus testing — a lynchpin to opening the economy — and the federal government’s failure to put a viable testing infrastructure and guidelines in place.

Read more: CNN News

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