Birx Claims Trump Was Fed ‘Parallel Data’ On COVID: ‘I Saw Graphs I Never Made’

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx listens during the daily coronavirus briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 09, 2020 in Washington,... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx listens during the daily coronavirus briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. unemployment claims have approached 17 million over the past three weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 24, 2021 1:13 p.m.
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Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator during the Trump administration, on Sunday expressed regrets over failing to push back at President Trump’s unfounded claims on COVID-19 while also shedding light on the spread of disinformation inside Trump’s White House.

In an extensive interview on CBS Sunday morning, Birx claimed that there was a “parallel data stream coming into the White House that were not transparently utilized.”

“I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” Birx said. “So, I know that someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president.”

After claiming that she still doesn’t know who is responsible for the “parallel data stream” the White House received, Birx maintained that she built her career on “transparency and accountability” and that what was in Trump’s hands was different than what she sent up.

“It is very important to me that we all agree how the data is collected and how we use it. We don’t cut it in pieces and say, we’re only going to look at it in this six weeks because it makes us look better,” Birx said. “Or, we’re all going to look at it in these two weeks because we look better than Europe in these two weeks. You can’t do that. You have to use the entire database.”

Pressed on who was responsible for spreading disinformation in the White House, Birx reiterated that she doesn’t know, but that Scott Atlas, who often touted Trump’s politically polarizing and scientifically unsound pandemic response as his adviser on COVID-19, “brought in parallel data streams.”

“I know now why watching some of the tapes that certainly Scott Atlas brought in parallel data streams,” Birx said. “I don’t know who else was part of it, but I think when the record goes back and people see what I was writing on a daily basis that was sent up to White House leadership, that they will see that I was highly specific on what I was seeing and what needed to be done.”

Birx went on to admit that there were people in the White House who believed that COVID-19 was a “hoax” because “the information was confusing at the beginning.”

“I think because we didn’t talk about the spectrum of disease, because everyone interpreted on what they knew. And so they saw people get COVID and be fine,” Birx said. “And then they had us talking about how severe the disease is and how it could cause these unbelievable fatalities of our American public.”

Pressed on whether she can blame Trump’s “hoax” rhetoric for the COVID-19 deniers in the White House, Birx didn’t point fingers at the former president, but said she was compelled to hit the road so that she would no longer feel “censored.”

“You know, when you have a pandemic where you’re relying on every American to change their behavior, communication is absolutely key. And so every time a statement was made by a political leader that wasn’t consistent with public health needs, that derailed our response,” Birx said. “It is also why I went out on the road because I wasn’t censored on the road.”

Asked what her biggest mistake was during her time on the White House coronavirus task force, Birx lamented that she “could have done more” by being “more outspoken publicly.”

“I didn’t know all the consequences of all of these issues. When you’re put into a new situation and you only know one person in the White House, you know, and you don’t understand the culture of the White House, it’s very difficult to get your footing,” Birx said. “I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying I didn’t know how far I could push the envelope.”

Birx agreed that she wishes she would’ve “pushed harder.”

In announcing her plans to retire instead of seeking a role in the Biden administration last month, Birx cited concerns about the treatment of her family after reports surfaced that she traveled to join family over Thanksgiving weekend after publicly discouraging Americans from making trips during the holiday. Birx said that her experience serving on the task force has been “overwhelming” and has placed particular strain on her daughter and parents.

Birx also told ABC News last month that although she has come under fire for not disputing Trump’s suggestions of unproven COVID-19 treatments during White House coronavirus task force briefings, she made “very clear” to Trump her “interpretation of the epidemic” in private remarks.

Watch Birx’s remarks below:

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