Dr. Deborah Birx is reportedly “distressed” about the White House coronavirus task force, and questioning whether she can remain a part of it for much longer, CNN reports.
Sources told CNN that Birx has expressed her distress over the task force to people around her, and reportedly described the situation as nightmarish. Those sources point to recently-appointed task force member Dr. Scott Atlas as a particular point of contention, with Birx believing that he holds an undue influence over the president.
“The President has found somebody who matches what he wants to believe,” is how a source described Birx’s opinion of Atlas’s relationship with President Donald Trump. “There is no doubt that she feels that her role has been diminished.”
Birx also reportedly feels that Atlas has provided Trump with misleading information about the effectiveness of face masks at reducing the spread of the virus.
A spokesperson for the White House dismissed the idea that Birx is unhappy with the task force.
“All of the medical experts in the administration are working together around the clock to carry out the President’s No. 1 priority: protecting the health and safety of the American people and defeating this virus from China,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “President Trump relies on the advice and counsel of all of his top health officials every day and any suggestion that their role is being diminished is just false.”