White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House

US  COVID-19  response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told those close to her that she is “distressed” at the direction of the White House coronavirus task force and is weighing if she will remain with the team, CNN reported Wednesday.

The White House coronavirus expert told people close to her that she felt her role was diminished after neuroradiologist Dr. Scott Atlas joined the task force.

“The president has found somebody who matches what he wants to believe,” a source close to Birx told CNN. “There is no doubt that she feels that her role has been diminished.”

Atlas denied the report during a news conference Wednesday evening, saying Birx “speaks for herself but that’s a completely false story and she denied it today.”

Another source close to Birx told CNN that the White House coronavirus expert is unlikely to leave her position on the task force but said there is some “frustration” in her day-to-day work.

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Coronavirus expert Dr. Deborah Birx told people she is “distressed” at the direction of the White House coronavirus task force and is weighing how much longer she’ll remain in the position, CNN reported Wednesday.

Birx, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, reportedly felt her role became “diminished” after neuroradiologist Dr. Scott Atlas joined the task force, according to the CNN report.

“The president has found somebody who matches what he wants to believe,” a source close to Birx told CNN. “There is no doubt that she feels that her role has been diminished.” The source added that Birx believes Atlas could be feeding  Trump  misleading information on the coronavirus, specifically around mask-wearing and its role in preventing coronavirus spread.

At a press conference Wednesday evening, Atlas denied there being any tensions in his relationship with Birx, saying she “speaks for herself but that’s a completely false story and she denied it today.”

“It’s completely false,” he told White House reporters.

Story continues

White House spokesman Judd Deere told CNN in a statement that Birx plays an equal part on 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,” Deere said. “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.”

Another source close to Birx told CNN that the White House coronavirus expert is unlikely to leave her position on the task force, but said there is some “frustration” in her day-to-day work.

“She is a good soldier,” the source told CNN. “I don’t think she’s going anywhere.”

James Glassman, who previously worked with the State Department and a friend of Birx, told CNN that Birx is more focused on “just getting the job done.”

“Dr. Birx is out in the states with the most trouble, telling them the right things about masks and distancing and going back to school,” Glassman told CNN. “She’s ignoring the nonsense from Scott Atlas and just getting the job done — just as I’ve seen her do, fighting AIDS for the past 15 years.”

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