Great Britain

Deborah Birx thought about quitting Trump’s Covid team: ‘Why would you put yourself through that?’

Dr Deborah Birx, the Trump administration's Covid-19 task force coordinator, said in a new interview that she was "always" considering quitting her White House role amid the US’s chaotic response to the pandemic in 2020.

In a new interview airing on Sunday's Face the Nation, Ms Birx said she was heavily criticized for being seen to enable to former president’s politics.

"I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day? 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," she said in a preview of the interview.

"I 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."

While Ms Birx said in the interview that she intends to retire in four to six weeks from her current role at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department website said her term ended on 20 January 2021.

That page has since been removed, but a cached version continues to show her time as the US global Aids coordinator and US special representative for global health diplomacy from 4 April 2014 to 20 January 2021.

The confusion over her current role comes after White House press secretary was asked on Friday if Ms Birx remained part of the coronavirus taskforce.

"It's an excellent question," Ms Psaski said during the daily briefing. "I'll have to circle back on that one."

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