After months of seeming to stand firm by former President Donald Trump’s side, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said in a new CNN documentary, that she believes that the U.S. could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
“Well, look at it this way. The first time, we have an excuse, there were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge,” Birx said. “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”
“The federal government did not provide consistent messaging to the American people and that is fault number one,” Birx added later in the interview.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there’ve been over 30 million cases of COVID-19 in the nation, and more than 548,000 deaths.
Today, Birx is a fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.
Birx's comments reveal some of the conflict scientists had with the former president and the impact that conflict had on giving the public accurate information during the height of the pandemic.
"I didn’t want to be at odds with the president because I have a lot of respect for the office of the presidency, but there was conflict at different levels with different people and different organizations and a lot of pressure being put on to do things that just are not compatible with the science," Dr. Anthony Fauci said in January.
Earlier this month, Birx told ABC News that she still has concerns about the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 after “having lived through the June and July surge” of COVID-19.
More than 140 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered, and 15.1 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.