Former coronavirus adviser Dr. Deborah Birx testified that coronavirus deaths could have been far lower under the Trump administration but that White House officials were distracted by the election.
Birx made the comments during closed-door testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis earlier in October. Excepts from her testimony were published Tuesday by the Washington Post.
“I felt like the White House had gotten somewhat complacent through the campaign season, and I wanted to make sure that as soon as everyone was back the day after the election, that people would comprehensively reengage,” Birx said during her testimony.
She went on to say that about 100,000 deaths during the Trump administration could have been avoidable.
“I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range,” Birx told the panel.
She also criticized the administration for listening to other voices who were skeptical about the efficacy of official social distancing guidelines.
“Do I think that we could have done more on unified messaging coming out of the White House?” Birx asked rhetorically. “Do I think we could have done more on — very early on showing the efficacy of masks? Yes. And I think that would have decreased the confusion.”
Despite her critical comments, many on the left excoriated Birx for not speaking out against Trump while she was still in the administration.
“Trump enablers like her are trying to rehab their image through media hits & book deals. Do not let them! Dr. Scarves why the F didn’t you expose him A YEAR AGO?!” tweeted activist Lindy Li.
“She sat there and supported him and did NOTHING except change her f***ing scarf. She’s no better than him,” read another popular tweet.
Coronavirus cases and deaths appear to have plateaued from a recent spike due to the delta variant.
Here’s more about the declining coronavirus pandemic:
Signs Of Hope As New Coronavirus Cases Drop In The US