FORMER Trump White House’s Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Deborah Birx said she “always” considered quitting her job after feeling “censored,” but promised she never withheld information to the public.
Dr. Birx, who retired on Wednesday after four decades of public service, said nothing prepared her for the chaotic handling of the pandemic under the Trump White House.
Dr. Deborah Birx said she felt “censored” at the Trump White HouseCredit: AP:Associated Press
She said she “always” considered quitting Credit: Getty Images – Getty
“I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day?” Birx said in a Face the Nation interview set to air on January 24.
“Colleagues of mine that I had known for decades,”Birx said, “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.”
Birx, who acted as the coordinator under former President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, references her former colleagues working in the White House for years prior conducting research on the AIDS virus.
“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,” she continued.
Birx served as the coordinator for the Trump White House Coronavirus Task ForceCredit: The Mega Agency
She said she would be retiring in the upcoming weeksCredit: CBS News
Birx was appointed by former President Barack Obama as PEPFAR Administrator, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
She then joined the Trump Administration in March 2020 to help with the Covid-19 response.
“When it became a point where I wasn’t getting anywhere and that was like right before the election, I wrote a very detailed communication plan of what needed to happen the day after the election and how that needed to be executed,” she said. “And there was a lot of promise that that would happen.”
The doctor said in the interview that the 2020 election was a clear factor in the task force’s reduced communications about the virus.
She said she felt “censored” by the White House, adding she was blocked from appearing on national media – but promised she never withheld information from the public herself.
Birx addressed the criticism she received nearing the end of her White House tenure – including spending time with her family at a vacation home for Thanksgiving despite the CDC urging folks not to travel – saying she plans to retire “within the next four to six weeks.”
When asked if Birx would be on Joe Biden’s Covid-19 response team, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was up in the air.
“I’ll have to circle back on that one,” said Psaki. “That’s an excellent question.”
Over 400,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and millions still remain unemployed as the nation recovers from a falling economy.