Number of COVID-19 deaths could have been mitigated in US, says former Trump official
Former US President Donald Trump's administration's pandemic response was riddled with dysfunction and the discord, untruths and infighting most likely had cost many lives, said Trump's former pandemic official adding that the deaths could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.ANI | Washington DC | Updated: 29-03-2021 18:26 IST | Created: 29-03-2021 18:26 IST
Former US President Donald Trump's administration's pandemic response was riddled with dysfunction and the discord, untruths and infighting most likely had cost many lives, said Trump's former pandemic official adding that the deaths could have been mitigated or decreased substantially. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Deborah Birx, the former President's coronavirus response coordinator, revealed that she received a "very uncomfortable" and "very difficult" phone call from Trump after speaking publicly about the spread of Covid-19 while serving in the former President's administration.
"It was a CNN report in August that got horrible pushback. That was a very difficult time, because everybody in the White House was upset with that interview and the clarity that I brought about the epidemic," Birx told CNN. "I got called by the President (Trump)," Birx continued. "It was very uncomfortable, very direct and very difficult to hear." She added: "I would say it was a very uncomfortable conversation."
In addition to disclosing the phone call with Trump, Birx revealed that the number of coronavirus deaths could have been "decreased substantially" if cities and states across the country had aggressively applied the lessons of the first surge toward mitigation last spring, potentially preventing the surges that followed. "I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse," Birx said. "There were about a hundred thousand deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially."
According to The New York Times, when asked if she was being censored by the administration, she said, "Clearly someone was blocking me from doing it... My understanding was I could not be national because the president might see it." NYT further reported that several of the officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci -- who unlike the others is a career scientist and is now advising President Joe Biden -- blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for not being open enough with the United States.
Several, including Dr. Redfield and Admiral Giroir, said early stumbles with testing and the attitude within the White House that testing made Trump look bad by driving up the number of case reports were "a serious problem in the administration's response." The United States continues to be the worst affected country by the pandemic, which is currently recorded over 30 million coronavirus cases and over 540,000 deaths due to the pathogen. (ANI)
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