Dr. Birx Slammed For COVID Comments, Said Deaths Could Have Been Mitigated

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She revealed that an interview she did with Bash over the summer, in which she warned about the severity of the virus, even in seemingly isolated regions of the US, particularly angered former President Donald Trump and his team.

In a January CBS News interview, Birx also said "there were people who definitely believed that [the coronavirus] was a hoax" in the White House and that Trump's public comments often directly contradicted guidelines she and other health officials would give governors and local leaders about the pandemic.

"I look at it this way. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge", said Birx.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious diseases, said during an interview that aired on Sunday that former President Donald Trump's vocal support for citizens to push back against stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic "hit me like a punch in the chest".

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In addition to disclosing the phone call with Trump, Birx revealed in the documentary that the number of coronavirus deaths could have been "decreased substantially" if cities and states across the country had aggressively applied the lessons of the first surge toward mitigation last spring, potentially preventing the surges that followed. The then-president would often refuse to wear a face mask and observe social distancing even after contracting COVID-19 along with then-first lady Melania Trump.

Fauci said he was taken aback by Trump's calls to reopen states in the early days of the pandemic.

The anecdote from Birx highlights the warring voices behind the scenes as the former administration grappled with how to handle the federal response and messaging surrounding the pandemic. In March 2020, she praised Trump for being attentive to the data presented regarding the outbreak. Trump also blasted his successor Joe Biden for not finishing the border wall, which was his response to combat illegal immigration. The former president took dead aim at his comment. "I just will never understand the sentiment -from people who weren't there- that everyone (but Fauci) should've walked away or got themselves fired & somehow things would've been better with less doctors/ scientists/ diversity in the room", he added. The border patrols and a lot of people of Immigration and Customs Enforcement want me there; they have asked me to go. "My understanding was I could not be national because the president might see it".

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