Former White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx claimed on Sunday that former President Donald Trump was being fed “parallel data streams” from another source on the pandemic and was “presenting graphs” that she never made.
During an interview on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Dr. Birx appeared to be doing a bit of reputation rehab by distancing herself completely from the Trump administration. Besides telling anchor Margaret Brennan that she “always” considered quitting the coronavirus task force, she also said there were “definitely” people within the White House who thought the virus was a hoax.
At one point in the conversation, Dr. Birx—who announced she was retiring during the transition between administrations—said she had been “censored” by the White House while denying that she ever willfully held back any information about the coronavirus crisis.
Bemoaning the politics within the administration over the handling of the pandemic, the doctor noted that when you remove “the infrastructure of the civil servants,” the response to the virus becomes “less predictable.” Adding that beyond writing a daily coronavirus report, Dr. Birx said she “had very little exposure” to the president.
“It took a while after I arrived in the White House to remove all of the ancillary data that was coming in,” she declared. “I mean, there was parallel data stream coming into the White House that were not transparently utilized.”
Brennan wondered if she was talking about “outside advisers,” prompting Birx to nod in agreement while adding that the outside advisors become “inside advisers,” obviously referencing Trump’s former coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas—whom the ex-president tapped after seeing his contrarian COVID-19 takes on Fox News.
“And to this day, I mean, until the day I left, I am convinced there were parallel data streams because I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” Birx asserted as Brennan asked if she was talking about “disinformation.”
“So, I know that someone—or someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president,” the doctor continued. “I know what I sent up and I know that what was in his hands was different from that.”
The CBS anchor, meanwhile, pressed Birx to reveal who she thought had given the president alternative facts on the virus which has so far killed 420,000 Americans.
“To this day I don't know,” Birx replied. “I know now by watching some of the tapes that certainly Scott Atlas brought in parallel data streams.”
“I don't know who else was part of it, but I think when the record goes back and people see what I was writing on a daily basis that was sent up to White House leadership, that they will see that- that I was highly specific on what I was seeing and what needed to be done,” she concluded.
Birx was at the center of criticism throughout her time as the coronavirus response coordinator. Last April, when the president suggested injecting bleach to fight off the virus, Birx appeared somewhat uncomfortable but did not object when Trump said she should “look into it.” She also came under fire last month when it was revealed she traveled to her vacation home to spend Thanksgiving with her family after advising the population to stay home.