Birx Says Death Toll 'Could Have Been Mitigated'

Dr Deborah Birx believes the Covid-19 death toll in the United States would have been substantially lower if the government had responded more effectively. — Reuters

Dr Deborah Birx believes the Covid-19 death toll in the United States would have been substantially lower if the government had responded more effectively. — Reuters

Birx told CNN the conversation happened after she gave an interview about the pandemic.

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(CNN)Dr. Deborah Birx revealed in a CNN documentary clip released Sunday that she received a "very uncomfortable" and "very difficult" phone call from Donald Trump after speaking publicly about the spread of Covid-19 while serving in the former President's administration.

Birx comments come in a preview of the upcoming documentary about the pandemic titled "COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out", which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CNN.

In a clip released by CNN, Gupta asked Birx if she thought it would have made a difference if the US had acted sooner, urging people to wear masks, socially distance, avoid large gatherings, and other methods to slow the spread of the virus.

"When I saw what happened in New York City, nearly over-running of our healthcare systems, and that's when it became very clear that the decision we made on January 10 to go all out and develop a vaccine, may have been the best decision that I've ever made with regard to intervention as the director of the institute, "he said in "COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out".

'When I saw what happened in New York City, nearly over-running of our healthcare systems, and that's when it became very clear that the decision we made on January 10 to go all out and develop a vaccine, may have been the best decision that I've ever made with regard to intervention as the director of the institute, ' Fauci said. I hope everyone remembers!' Trump said in a formal statement earlier this month.

"I look at it this way: The first time, we have an excuse".

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In an interview with CNN, parts of which were released before broadcast later yesterday, Birx said there was an "excuse" for the initial surge of deaths a year ago as the government grappled with the start of the pandemic.

"What we are seeing today is different from March and April", she said at the time.

When asked by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta whether she felt threatened by the former president, she repeated that the exchange had been a "very uncomfortable conversation".

"Everybody inside was waiting for me to make a misstep so that they could, I guess, remove me from the task force", she said.

Trump's team and Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News. Social media pointed out that Fauci appeared willing to take much of the credit completely avoided mentioning former President Trump's Operation Warp Speed.

Trump, who tested positive for and then recovered from the virus in October, was running for re-election at the time.

In a recently published clip from the forthcoming CNN documentary, Birx said every COVID-19 death in the U.S. that occurred after the first 100,000 could've been mitigated after the first surge.

More than 542,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to a Reuters tally, and nearly 30 million have been infected.

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