In interviews broadcast on CNN on Sunday evening, former President Donald Trump’s pandemic officials confirmed in stark and not uncertain terms what was already an open secret in Washington: the government’s pandemic was malfunctioning , and the discord, falsehoods and struggles have most likely cost many lives

Dr Deborah Birx, Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, suggested hundreds of thousands of Americans may have died unnecessarily, and Adm Brett Giroir, the test czar, said the administration lied to the public about the availability of tests
The comments were among a series of bombs that surfaced during a CNN special report introducing the doctors who led the government’s coronavirus response in 2020

Dr Robert R Redfield, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accused Trump of Health Secretary Alex Azar and the secretary’s leadership team of pressuring him to revise scientific reports “Now he can deny it, but it’s true” said Redfield in an interview with Dr Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent for Azar, denied it in a statement

Dr Stephen K Hahn, the former commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, said his relationship with Azar had become “strained” after the health minister revoked the agency’s authority to regulate coronavirus testing, “That was a line in the sand for me,” said Hahn When Gupta asked him if Azar had yelled at him, Hahn replied: “You should ask him this question”

But it was Birx who was denounced for hailing Trump as “so attentive to scientific literature” and not publicly correcting the president when he made outlandish claims about unproven therapies, the revelations of which – in one of their first on television interviews aired since leaving the White House in January – were perhaps the most compelling

“That’s how I see it,” she said. “The first time we have an excuse. There were about 100000 deaths from this original wave

“Everyone else,” she added, referring to nearly 450000 deaths “In my opinion, they could have been significantly mitigated or reduced” if the administration had acted more aggressively

She also described a “very awkward, very direct and very difficult” phone call with Trump after speaking about the dangers of the virus last summer. “Everyone in the White House was upset with this interview,” she said

After that, she decided to tour the country to speak to state and local leaders about masks, social distancing, and other public health measures that the president didn’t want her off the podium at the White House to the American Public forwards

Gupta asked if it was being censored “Obviously someone stopped me”, she said “My understanding was that I couldn’t be national because the president could see it”

Several officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci, who unlike the others is a career scientist and now advises President Joe Biden, accused China, where the virus was first discovered, of not being open enough to the US, and several, including Redfield and Giroir, said early on Testing stumbling blocks – and the White House attitude that testing made the president look bad by increasing the number of case reports – was a serious problem in the government’s response

And the problems with testing went beyond Trump’s obsession with optics, Giroir said the administration just didn’t have as many tests as top officials claimed at the time

“When we said there were millions of tests – there weren’t, right?” he said, “Components of the test were available, but not the full range”

Dr Deborah Birx

World News – CA – Dr Deborah Birx, Trump’s COVID-19 response coordinator, suggests thousands died unnecessarily during a pandemic