Deborah Birx, the former Trump White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the United States could have reduced COVID-related deaths by 30 percent to 40 percent if Trump officials had been less fixated on the election and more focused no following recommendations. In closed-door testimony earlier this month, Birx told congressional investigators that former President Donald Trump had been “distracted by the election,” which contributed to the crushing number of deaths that plagued the end of his term. “I felt like the White House had gotten somewhat complacent through the campaign season,” she said.
In newly released excerpts from her testimony to the House select subcommittee on the pandemic on Oct. 12 and 13, Birx said that more than 130,000 American lives could have been saved with “fully implemented” mask mandates, testing, and social distancing. “We probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range,” Birx said. She also directly slammed former White House adviser Scott Atlas for pushing “dangerous” theories about “herd immunity.”