FORMER White House’s coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx claimed someone within the Trump administration gave the then president “parallel” data sets on the pandemic.
Birx said that she “saw the president presenting graphs that I never made” or approved of in the bombshell interview that aired on Sunday.
Talking to Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ Face The Nation, she said: “Someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president.”
Birx did not identify the officials who didn’t believe the pandemic was real, or who presented this conflicting data sets to Trump.
However, she claimed that Trump’s coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas was providing some of it.
Birx went on to claim that “there were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax” within the Trump administration.
“I think the information was confusing at the beginning. I think because we didn’t talk about the spectrum of the disease, everyone interpreted what they knew,” she said.
Birx admitted she “always” considered quitting and dealt with Covid deniers in the White House – but Birx insisted she never withheld information from the public
She retired on Wednesday after four decades of public service.
She said nothing prepared her for the chaotic handling of the pandemic last year.
“I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day?” Birx said when asked if she ever considered quitting.
“Colleagues of mine that I had known for decades – decades in that one experience, because I was in the White House – decided that I had become this political person, even though they had known me forever.”
I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day?
Dr Deborah Birx
Birx – the coordinator under Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force – said she “had to ask myself every morning, is there something that I think I can do that would be helpful in responding to this pandemic.
“And it’s something I asked myself every night,” she added.
Birx went on to say that she had “no team, full-time team in the White House working on coronavirus” as the virus spread around the country, infecting, killing, and sickening thousands of hard-hit Americans.
The disease expert said she was the “only full-time person” working on it but was able to “recruit from other agencies, individuals” and bring in former colleagues she’d worked with on AIDS Relief or PEPFAR.
When asked whether she would consider quitting, she said she questioned whether she could ”do anything helpful”, in response to the pandemic.
Birx was appointed by former President Barack Obama as PEPFAR Administrator, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
She then joined the Trump Administration in March 2020 to help with the Covid-19 response.
She said in December that she would retire but was willing to first help President Joe Biden’s team with its coronavirus response as needed.
“When it became a point where I wasn’t getting anywhere and that was like right before the election, I wrote a very detailed communication plan of what needed to happen the day after the election and how that needed to be executed,” she said.
“And there was a lot of promise that that would happen.”
The doctor said in the interview that the 2020 election was a clear factor in the task force’s reduced communications about the virus.
She said she felt “censored” by the White House, adding she was blocked from appearing on national media – but Birx emphasized that she herself did not withhold information from Americans.
She also addressed the criticism she received nearing the end of her task force tenure.
Birx now says that she plans to retire “within the next four to six weeks.”
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When asked if Birx would be on Biden’s Covid-19 response team, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was up in the air.
“I’ll have to circle back on that one,” said Psaki. “That’s an excellent question.”
More than 25 million people have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 418,000 people have died in the United States since the pandemic swept the country and ravaged the economy.