CNN’s Brianna Keilar criticized Dr. Deborah Birx during Monday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” referring to her weekend interview on “Face the Nation” as her “reputation rehab tour.”
Keilar laid out several instances where she believed Birx, as a prominent member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, should have challenged President Donald Trump’s public statements about the pandemic. (RELATED: ‘Assault On Truth’: CNN’s Brianna Keilar Says Trump Will Exit Presidency ‘Through A War Zone Of His Own Creation’)
Referencing Trump’s comments — during a live press conference — about the potential to use “disinfectant” to treat coronavirus, Keilar said, “That was it. That was the opportunity to respond, to tell people not to ingest or inject bleach. It was as glaring as a blinking neon sign and she missed it.”
Keilar went on to note that her CNN colleague Jake Tapper had pressed Birx on that particular comment, and she had argued that Trump was thinking aloud — musing about whether or not scientists could study such a treatment.
“Study what? Study ingesting disinfectant into the human body?” Keilar continued. “Her milquetoast answers gave life to really bad advice from Trump. And keep in mind, the CDC had to put out a warning on ingesting disinfectants after a spike in calls to poison centers.”
Keilar noted that Birx may have quietly tried to dispel disinformation as she traveled with the task force, but argued that it was not enough.
“Whatever reason Dr. Birx had for going along with misinformation, failing to forcefully discredit medical advice that could kill people, only she really knows. Her explanations are weak, woefully insufficient, they are an insult after more than 400,000 Americans died,” Keilar concluded. “To scientists, Birx is a cautionary tale about letting politics and power warp science until it is no longer science. That a doctor can spend 40 years building a reputation that garners respect being a champion of science and serving others, but if they don’t stand up for science when it counts, when lives are on the line, their reputation can be wiped away. All it takes is a little bleach and in her case a small ray of sunlight.”