- Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House coronavirus response coordinator, said President Donald Trump presented data to the public that she hadn’t approved.
- Somebody fed Trump a “parallel set of data and graphics” separate to those she provided, she said.
- Scott Atlas, the former president’s advisor and a lockdown sceptic, was involved, Birx claimed.
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Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator under President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that Trump was fed “a parallel set of data and graphics” that she had not approved, and that the president then presented to the public.
In a CBS interview released Sunday, Birx said somebody had been creating graphics for Trump to present “that were not transparently utilised.” Scott Atlas, Trump’s former advisor on the coronavirus task force and a lockdown sceptic, was involved, she said.
“I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” Birx told Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.
“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,” she said.
She did not specifically suggest the data presented was false.
Birx said Atlas brought in the “parallel data streams,” but she said she didn’t know who else was part of it. She added she had “very little exposure” to Trump in terms of briefing him on the COVID-19 crisis.
There were COVID-19 deniers in the White House, Birx said in the same interview. “There were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax,” she said.
Birx, 64, announced in December that she planned to retire, but that she was open to helping President Joe Biden’s administration with its coronavirus response.
So far, over 25 million Americans have tested positive and more than 419,000 have died from the coronavirus, according to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker.
In the CBS interview, Birx said that she constantly considered quitting while working on Trump’s coronavirus task force because her job and the pandemic had been politicized.
“Colleagues of mine that I’d known for decades â€” decades â€” 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.
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