Dr. Deborah Birx, a former member of the White House coronavirus task force, revealed on Sunday that misinformation abounded in the WH and that former president Donald Trump was presenting COVID-19 charts at press briefings that she never made.
Dr. Birx made the assertion during an interview on CBS News' Face the Nation as she distanced herself completely from the Trump administration.
Trump Showed 'Parallel Set of Data and Graphics' Created by Someone Else
"I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made. So I know that someone -- someone out there or someone inside -- was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president," Birx said in a lengthy interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" that aired on Sunday.
"I know what I sent up, and I know what was in his hands was different from that," she said.
Birx said she believes Scott Atlas, Trump's former adviser on the coronavirus task force, was responsible for bringing in the "parallel data streams," though she does not know who else was involved. Atlast won Trump's favor by advocating the loosening of social-distancing restrictions during the pandemic.
Dr. Birx, who announced her retirement during the transition between administrations, often featured alongside the president during some of his press briefings on the U.S. coronavirus response in the spring. She was also in the press room in April when Trump suggested injecting disinfectant in order to kill the virus.
She said she had been "censored" by the White House while denying that she ever intentionally held back any information about the coronavirus pandemic. She added that beyond writing a daily coronavirus report, Dr. Birx said she "had very little exposure" to the president.
Criticism on Social Media
Shortly after the interview, several social media users called Dr. Birx out for refusing to speak up and being "complicit" in Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 419,000 people in the U.S.
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter: