Birx Testifies That Trump Cost Tens Of Thousands Of Lives By Prioritizing Election Over Pandemic Response

Politico reports:

As Covid-19 surged last winter, the Trump White House was torn between competing factions on how to manage the pandemic, including whether to let the virus spread unchecked to reach herd immunity, former coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx told congressional investigators.

Birx and other doctors pressed the Trump administration to intensify efforts to control disease spread, according to portions of testimony released Tuesday by the Coronavirus Crisis Select Subcommittee.

But then-President Donald Trump’s hand-picked coronavirus adviser, Scott Atlas, had rapidly consolidated power on a platform that downplayed the seriousness of Covid to most Americans, squeezing out Birx and other top government health officials.

The Washington Post reports:

“I felt like the White House had gotten somewhat complacent through the campaign season,” said Deborah Birx, who former president Donald Trump chose in March 2020 to steer his government’s virus response, according to interview excerpts released by the House select subcommittee on the pandemic.

Birx, who sat for interviews with the subcommittee on Oct. 12 and 13, also detailed advice that she said the White House ignored late last year, including more aggressively testing younger Americans, expanding access to virus treatments and better distributing vaccines in long-term care facilities.

The New York Times reports:

In closed-door testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Dr. Birx said that tens of thousands of deaths could have been prevented after the initial phase of the pandemic if Mr. Trump had pushed mask-wearing, social distancing and other efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

“I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range,” Dr. Birx testified, according to excerpts provided by the committee.