Deborah Birx says she 'always' considered quitting as she faced attacks from within the Trump administration and the science community
- Deborah Birx says she always considered quitting while working on Trump's Coronavirus task force.
- Birx faced criticism from the science community and from Trump for her work.
- She says her role and the pandemic were politicized, thanks in large part to Trump.
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Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of former President Donald Trump's White House Coronavirus task force said she always considered quitting.
"I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day?" Birx said in a clip of an interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS News' "Face The Nation."
Birx said her job and the pandemic had been politicized.
"Colleagues of mine that I'd known for decades — decades — in that one experience, because I was in the White House, decided that I had become this political person, even though they had known me forever," she said. "I had to ask myself every morning, 'Is there something that I think I can do that would be helpful in responding to this pandemic?' And it's something I asked myself every night."
Birx, a well-established public official best known for her decades of HIV/AIDS research, had faced criticism for not defending Trump when he made scientifically and medically inaccurate statements.
Trump's unscientific approach to the COVID-19 pandemic included resisting the use of masks, and even at one point suggesting people could ingest disinfectants to cure themselves of the virus.
Birx also faced criticism after it was learned that in the summer of 2020, she played a key role in pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release guidance for schools to reopen despite surging coronavirus cases.
That revelation came as the CDC walked back its cautious guidance on reopening schools, after criticism from Trump.
Read more: Trump's threat to bolt from the Republican Party could spark a serious legal fight over his 'gold mine' list of supporters who have helped fill the GOP coffers with billions of dollars
Trump eventually also became displeased with Birx after she raised alarms about surging cases later in the summer.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Birx "enabled" Trump and has not done enough to confront his misguided claims about the coronavirus, Trump attacked Birx claiming she was only speaking of the surging cases to appease Pelosi, Insider previously reported.
"So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics," Trump said in a tweet on August 3. "In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!"
Birx again would counter Trump's false notion that the US would turn a corner with COVID-19 cases in November, warning that without "much more aggressive action" the pandemic could enter the "most deadly phase" yet.
Last month, Birx announced her plan to retire, but said she was open to helping President Joe Biden's administration.
So far, close to 25 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the US, and at least 414,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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