Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response under President Donald Trump, said in an interview clip released Friday that she was frustrated in the role and often thought about quitting.
Asked by CBS News’ “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan if she ever considered stepping down from the highly public role, Birx replied, “Always.”
WATCH: @margbrennan: "Did you ever consider quitting?"
Birx: "Always...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?"
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— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 22, 2021
“I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day?” Birx said, explaining that she felt alienated by her colleagues in the field because they now viewed her as “this political person” working under Trump, who downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the final year of his presidency.
“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,” said Birx, who’s been a public servant since Ronald Reagan’s administration. Prior to joining the coronavirus task force, she held an ambassadorial post as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator.
It became clear to her that Trump’s reelection campaign had some influence over the White House’s pandemic communications, she said on “Face the Nation,” so she began strategizing for postelection pandemic messaging.
“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,” she said.
Birx, 64, announced last month that she planned to retire soon from her role at the U.S. Centers for...