Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator in former President Donald Trump's administration, told CBS News' Margaret Brennan on Sunday that there were individuals in the previous government who believed the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax, The Hill reported.
"There were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax," she said.
Birx claimed that these beliefs emerged due to the "confusing" information on the virus as it began to spread across the globe.
"I think because we didn't talk about the spectrum of disease, because everyone interpreted on what they knew, and so they saw people get COVID and be fine. And then they had us talking about how severe the disease is and how it could cause these unbelievable fatalities of our American public."The medical professional also placed some blame on Trump's language and his use of the word "hoax" when discussing the coronavirus and issues related to the pandemic.
"When you have a pandemic where you're relying on every American to change their behavior, communication is absolutely key."
The belief that COVID-19 is a hoax is not new among Trump supporters. As reported by The Guardian in October of last year, after Trump was hospitalized with the virus, one supporter at the time claimed that there was "no pandemic" and said it was a "hoax." The supporter pointed to Trump's comments on the millions of people who die of the flu each year and suggested that if the head of state indeed caught the virus, it was "planted" on him by a medical professional during testing.
While Birx is now retired, Dr. Anthony Fauci — who was also part of Trump's coronavirus task force — is working in President Joe Biden's administration. Per USA Today, the doctor said it is "liberating" to be able to "let the science speak" in Biden's administration.
According to the publication, Trump and Fauci's conflicts in the public eye created a "distraction" amid the pandemic and sent "opposing messages" to American citizens.
As The Inquisitr reported, progressive commentator Sam Seder previously accused Trump of attempting to create a culture war over mask use during the pandemic. The comment came after Fauci stressed the importance of wearing protective coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The former president notably refused to wear a mask for his presidential appearances. Interestingly, research from last year suggested that Democrats are 20 percent more likely to wear masks in public than their Republican counterparts.