Dr. Birx: I Had an 'Uncomfortable' Call With Trump

After August interview that upset everyone in the White House, she says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2021 3:30 AM CDT
Dr. Birx: I Had an 'Uncomfortable' Call With Trump
In this July 8, 2020, file photo Dr. Deborah Birx, left, and Adm. Brett Giroir, right, listen as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Education building in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – In the CNN documentary that aired Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx said everything after the first 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US could have been mitigated—and the former coronavirus coordinator for then-President Trump's administration also recalled a challenging phone call with Trump. She had just been interviewed by CNN in August about the threat the virus continued to pose when he called her, CNN reports. He and everyone in the White House were upset because she'd talked about how much more widespread the virus was in the US than it had been earlier in the pandemic, she said.

After referencing other conversations with Trump that have been publicized, she said, "I would say it was even more direct than what people have heard. It was very uncomfortable, very direct, and very difficult to hear." She didn't say whether he threatened her, NBC News reports, but said, "I would say it was a very uncomfortable conversation." As for the Trump administration's No. 1 problem, she said, it was a failure to provide consistent public health messaging. She also says in the documentary, per CNN, that every doctor working on the COVID task force received death threats. CNN has much more on the documentary here, or for the other side, Yahoo notes Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu and others are criticizing Birx for "enabling" Trump—more on that here. (Read more Deborah Birx stories.)

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