Dr Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force co-ordinator under Donald Trump, “always” considered quitting as the US lurched into disaster under the 45th president – but didn’t.
Speaking to CBS in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday, Birx 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.
“And when it became a point where … I wasn’t getting anywhere and that was like right before the election, I wrote a very detailed communication plan of what needed to happen the day after the election and how that needed to be executed. And there was a lot of promise that that would happen.”
Joe Biden won the election and was sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. Another senior US public health official, Dr Anthony Fauci, has since spoken of his relief over the change of administration.
According to Johns Hopkins University, by Saturday morning 413,791 people had died of Covid-19 in the US, out of nearly 25m cases. There were 3,758 deaths on Friday. It was also reported that hundreds of national guard troops who provided security for Biden’s inauguration have tested positive for the virus.
“There are national guard troops here from every state in the union, probably,” Birx said. “Young individuals who are most likely to have asymptomatic infection if they do get infected. And they’re congruently living and eating mask-less, 25,000 to 30,000 of them from all over the United States.”
Birx said the inauguration could prove to be a massive super-spreader event, because it had brought “30,000 people together where you know that they’re most likely to have asymptomatic infections and you haven’t pre-screened, pre-tested and serially tested.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Martin Pengelly and Victoria Bekiempis