Ex-White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx claims former President Donald Trump was being fed ‘parallel’ data sets on the pandemic from another source inside the White House and ‘presented graphs’ she never made.
Birx made the claims in an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday in which she also insisted that some members of the Trump Administration believed COVID-19 was a ‘hoax’.
‘I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,’ Birx said in the interview. ‘So, I know that someone — or someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president.’
‘I know what I sent up and I know that what was in his hands was different from that,’ the doctor continued.
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Ex-White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx claims former President Donald Trump was being fed ‘parallel’ data sets on the pandemic from another source inside the White House and was ‘presenting graphs’ she never made
Birx and Donald Trump during a White House press briefing in March. Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus task force co-ordinator under Trump, told CBS Face The Nation she asked herself every morning and night if she could make a difference to tackling the pandemic
Birx said that she didn’t know at the time who exactly was bringing the parallel data to the president, but on reflection, says she believed Scott Atlas may have played a role.
Atlas, a physician with no previous infectious disease experience who became Trump’s coronavirus adviser, often contradicted scientists on spread mitigation efforts – including mask wearing and social distancing advisories.
‘I don’t know who else was part of it, but I think when the record goes back and people see what I was writing on a daily basis that was sent up to White House leadership, that they will see that — that I was highly specific on what I was seeing and what needed to be done,’ she said.
Dr. Birx said she took ‘extensive notes’ from each White House meeting, and wrote more than 310 daily reports that she sent to senior leaders.
When questioned by CBS as to whether Trump read her reports, she said she wasn’t sure, because ‘I had very little exposure to President Trump.’
Birx added that there were people inside the Trump administration who ‘definitely believed’ the virus was a hoax.
‘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.’
Birx said that she didn’t know at the time who exactly was bringing the parallel data to the president, but on reflection, says she believed Scott Atlas (above) may have played a role
More than 25 million Americans have been infected by the coronavirus and at least 417,000 have died since March 2020, when the pandemic began.
Birx said she regularly considered resigning from the White House coronavirus task force and was censored by the Trump administration, but denied ever withholding information about the virus.
‘When you have a pandemic where you’re relying on every American to change their behavior, communication is absolutely key,’ she said.
‘Every time a statement was made by a political leader that wasn’t consistent with public health needs, that derailed our response. It is also why I went out on the road, because I wasn’t censored on the road.’
Birx said she regularly considered resigning from the White House coronavirus task force and was censored by the Trump administration, but denied ever withholding information about the virus
Birx, who announced her retirement as President Joe Biden took office last week, added that there were people inside the Trump administration who ‘definitely believed’ the virus was a hoax. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next 'We can't wait': Biden to push Congress for $1.9 trillion in... Cindy McCain says Arizona Republicans' censure for failing... Share this article Share
Birx said she grew ever more concerned over Trump’s pandemic strategy, particularly in the build up to the election.
‘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.’
'When it became a point where I could - 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 told CBS.
'And there was a lot of promise that that would happen.'
Birx announced in December she would 'retire' from her role when President Joe Biden took office following a backlash after she broke her own coronavirus safety guidelines to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family.
Birx traveled out of state to Delaware for the weekend while the CDC was urging Americans not to travel for the holiday.
The career health official addressed the scandal saying it had taken its toll on her family and said she will retire 'within the next four to six weeks' from the CDC.
'This experience has been a bit overwhelming,' she said. 'It's been very difficult on my family.'
‘I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,’ Birx said in the interview. ‘So, I know that someone — or someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president'
Birx served as the US Global AIDS Coordinator for both President Barack Obama and Trump before she was appointed to the coronavirus taskforce in March taking on the very public role as one of the nation's top doctors in its fight against the pandemic.
During her time in the role, she came under fire from both sides.
In August, Trump called Birx 'pathetic' when she warned Americans that the pandemic is 'extraordinarily widespread' in the US.
Meanwhile, House Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi once also described her as 'the worst'.
Birx had hoped to secure a job working under the Biden administration.
Sources said in December that she reached out to Biden's advisors to make the case for a role in his coronavirus response effort.
But she has yet to be tipped for an appointment and new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki simply said 'that's an excellent question' Friday when asked if Birx was still on the White House COVID-19 response team.
Birx's interview making thinly-veiled swipes at her former boss comes days after Dr. Anthony Fauci also took aim at Trump Thursday - the day after Biden took office - as the nation's top doctors finally speak out about what life was like in Trump's White House.
Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear he's happy to be working for President Joe Biden
Fauci appeared in the White House press briefing room Thursday for the first time since last spring as he took up his role as Biden's chief medical advisor and member of the COVID-19 response team.
He spoke about the differences of work life in the Biden administration compared to the Trump administration.
'One of the new things in this administration is: if you don't know the answer, don't guess. Just say you don't know the answer,' he said.
'One of the things that was very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago, when I was with the president, is that one of the things that we're going to do is to be completely transparent open and honest if things go wrong.
'Not point fingers but to correct them and to make everything we do be based on science and evidence.
'I mean that was literally a conversation I had 15 minutes ago with the president, and he has said that multiple times,' he noted.