‘Parallel set of data’: Former Covid-19 coordinator says Trump presented different graphs
A former coordinator of the White House's coronavirus task force has revealed that President Donald Trump presented graphs parallelly created by someone else on Covid-19 response. In an interview aired on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’, Dr Deborah Birx told moderator Margaret Brennan that someone was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the former president.
“I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made...I know that someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president,” she said.
Birx admitted that she could have been more outspoken publicly, adding that she didn’t know “all the consequences of all of these issues.” The American physician said that every time a political leader made a statement that wasn’t consistent with the needs of public health, it impacted the Covid-19 response. She opined that communication is “absolute key” in containing a pandemic, especially when the administration is relying on Americans to change their behaviour.
“When you are put into a new situation, you only know one person in the White House and you don't understand the culture of the White House...I didn't know how far I could push the envelope," said Birx, adding that she wished she had pushed harder on testing.
According to a recently updated US department of state website, Birx retired last Wednesday. Notably, Birx was present during a press conference in April 2020 when Trump had wondered whether injecting disinfectant inside people could be a treatment against Covid-19. “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it (the virus) out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs,” Trump had suggested.
The news briefing was followed by a surge in hotline calls in the state of Maryland, seeking guidance on Trump’s comments. Trump later asserted that it was a sarcastic comment and should not have been taken seriously by anyone. “It was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better," he said.