January 23, 2021
Dr. Deborah Birx Said She 'Always' Considered Quitting Donald Trump's COVID-19 Task Force

Dr. Deborah Birx said that she "always" considered resigning from former President Donald Trump's COVID-19 task force, acknowledging the criticism that she was too close to the president in her role.

Birx served as the coronavirus response coordinator in Trump's White House, but she was often criticized for not pushing back against incorrect information spread by Trump and for appearing to critics to be deferential to the president.

As CNN reported, she eventually faded into a less publicly prominent role while going on the road to spread her public health message. That allowed controversial adviser Scott Atlas to take a more prominent role, the report claimed. As The Inquisitr noted, Atlas came under fire for reportedly pushing a herd immunity strategy that would allow young and healthy people to become infected, an approach that experts said would be dangerous and could potentially lead to the deaths of millions of Americans.

In an interview, Birx said it was a difficult situation and she often wrestled with whether it would be better for her to quit.

"Colleagues of mine that I had known for decades — decades — 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 in the CBS News interview set to air on Sunday and shared in part on Twitter.

"I had to ask myself every morning: Is there something that I think I can do that would be helpful in responding to this pandemic? And it's something I asked myself every night."
Birx was ultimately not asked to serve on Joe Biden's 12-member coronavirus task force, though she said in December that she was willing to help in the transition to his administration in any way she could.

Deborah Birx speaks at the White House.
Getty Images | Doug Mills

She is not the only prominent public health figure to look back critically at the Trump administration and its handling of the pandemic. As CNN reported, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday that the Trump administration "very likely" cost American lives through its lack of truthfulness about the severity of the pandemic and tendency to give inaccurate medical advice. Trump infamously suggested that disinfectant could be injected or ingested to fight the virus, and he regularly refused to adhere to his own team's recommendations for social distancing and mask-wearing.

Fauci said that with the rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, it was not helpful to "start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically."