Dr. Deborah Birx says Trump officials forced her to change COVID data sent to states

Dr. Deborax Birx, the White House COVID-19 coordinator under President Donald Trump, told House lawmakers she has been asked to withhold or change information in weekly pandemic reports sent to state and local health officials, including advice on masks.

birks, appearance On Thursday, before the elected subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic will be discussed for the first time. since she left in January 2021.detailed creative ways she improvised to share information.

“So I learned to put the things I was having trouble with in the second part of the sentence.” Birks saidexplaining that she hoped Trump officials reviewing her records would not notice them.

Birx did not name these officials.

During her testimony, Birx described a communication breakdown and disarray in the White House’s response to COVID.

She said the belief that COVID will act like the flu in 2020 gives Americans a “false sense of security.” In addition to Trump, Birx said other administration officials are “downplaying the severity of the pandemic.”

“Not just the president, but many of our leaders have used words like ‘we could contain’ and you can’t contain a virus that is invisible,” Birx said. “And it wasn’t visible because we didn’t test.”

Birx also discussed the theories promoted by Dr. Scott Atlas, Trump’s COVID adviser, who supported herd immunity as a strategy to fight the pandemic.

The committee received emails from Birx, including an August 2020 letter in which she wrote to colleagues, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, about Altas’ claims that masks are “overpriced”, that testing should be limited, and that testing could inflict political harm on the president. .

“Case-finding is bad for presidential re-election—testing should only be done on sick people,” Birx recalls Atlas saying: according to the New York Times.

Birx told the committee on Thursday that Atlas’ presence “definitely destroyed any cohesiveness of reaction in the White House.”

Birx also explained how the theories shared by Altas influenced the response to the pandemic.

“When you stop agreeing on what is really happening in the country and what needs to be done, and there is no consensus on this, then you lose the ability to act as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Birx continued.

Asked if more lives would have been saved if the president had followed her recommendations rather than Atlas’s, Birx replied “absolutely.”

In an interview with ABC News in April, Birx discussed the infamous press conference where Trump suggested people inject disinfectant as a way to treat COVID.

“I was paralyzed at that moment because it was so unexpected,” she said.

“I just wanted it to be The Twilight Zone and it all went away,” Birx continued. “I just saw everything fall apart in that moment.”

Birx’s testimony comes as scientists continue to learn more about the effects of COVID.

Data collected from June 1 to June 13 by the US Census Bureau and analyzed by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that more than 40% of American adults said they had contracted COVID at some point during the pandemic. Of these, one in five continues to suffer from “long-term COVID”.

Researchers at Imperial College London said on Thursday that COVID vaccines saved nearly 20 million lives in their first year.

It shows “how much worse the pandemic could have been if we didn’t have these vaccines,” Oliver Watson, who led the study, told The Associated Press.


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