Birx on COVID-19 deniers inside White House: 'There were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax'

Former White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah BirxDeborah BirxFauci defends Birx: 'She had to live in the White House' CNN's Brianna Keilar calls out Birx 'apology tour' Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report MORE said in an interview that aired Sunday that there were “definitely” people within the White House who believed the virus to be a hoax.

"There were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax," Birx told CBS’s Margaret Brennan.

Asked how such conspiracy theories emerged within the White House, Birx responded, “I think because the information was confusing in 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. And then they had us talking about how severe the disease is and how it could cause these unbelievable fatalities of our American public.”

Birx suggested that she partially blamed former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s own language, including describing the virus as a “hoax” himself before it was declared a pandemic.

“When you have a pandemic where you’re relying on every American to change their behavior, communication is absolutely key,” she said. “And so every time a statement was made by a political leader that wasn’t consistent with public health needs, that derailed our response. It is also why I went on the road, because I wasn’t censored on the road.”

Birx, who retired after President Biden took office, said in the same interview that she “always” considered resigning from the White House coronavirus task force.