Trump was given 'parallel data' on COVID-19 pandemic, Birx says 

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Deborah Birx, MD, former White House COVID-19 response coordinator under the Trump administration, said in a CBS News interview Jan. 24 that someone from inside his administration had been giving the former president "parallel" data sets on the pandemic. 

"I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made," Dr. Birx told Margaret Brennan on CBS News' Face The Nation. "So, I know that someone — or someone out there or someone inside — was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president. I don't know to this day who, but I know what I sent up and that what was in his hands was different from that." 

Dr. Birx said she does not know specifically who it was that was giving President Trump "parallel data," or different information from what she was providing him, but that the data stream was coming from advisors outside of the White House. However, she noted that Scott Atlas, MD, a former member of the White House's COVID-19 task force, brought in some of the outside information.

When asked if there were COVID-19 deniers in the White House, Dr. Birx said there were people around the country and in the White House who "definitely believed that this was a hoax." She attributed the beliefs to the confusing influx of information at the start of the pandemic. 

"I think 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," Dr. Birx said. 

Click here to view the full transcript of the interview. 

Editor's note: This article was updated at 10:18 a.m. CST on Jan. 25. 

 

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