Dr. Deborah Birx, who had been one of the White House's chief coronavirus response coordinators, said Friday she considered quitting under former President Donald Trump, whose cavalier attitude toward combatting the disease created consternation among public health officials.
Birx, in a clip of released by CBS News' "Face The Nation," said she "always" considered quitting, particularly once colleagues began to view her differently after becoming one of the faces of the response to the coronavirus pandemic under Trump. The full interview will air on Sunday.
"I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day? Colleagues of mine that I've 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've known me forever," she said in the interview.
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Birx, who came under some criticism for traveling and hosting Thanksgiving with her family as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed, was in the White House briefing room in April 2020 when Trump suggested that injecting bleach, or other disinfectants — as well as light — could kill the virus. She was noticeably uncomfortable as the president turned to her and asked whether she had ever heard about heat killing the virus in humans.