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Birx to testify publicly in Congress about Trump pandemic response
Deborah Birx, who served as former President Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, will testify publicly in Congress for the first time since leaving office next week about the former administration’s pandemic response.
Birx will testify June 23 before the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, which is led by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C).
The subcommittee has spent the past two years investigating political interference in the pandemic response from the Trump administration.
Panel Republicans have said Democratic members are too focused on Trump, and want the committee to spend its time investigating the Biden administration’s response.
In a statement, the subcommittee said it will “hear Dr. Birx’s firsthand knowledge about what went wrong during the previous Administration in order to determine what corrective steps are necessary to better prepare our nation for any future public health crisis and to ensure that our public health institutions are never again compromised by decision makers more concerned with politics than Americans’ health.”
Birx was one of Trump’s top health advisers. She drew criticism for her praise of Trump’s understanding of pandemic data, as well as her failure to publicly push back when Trump made false claims about people injecting disinfectant as a means to treat the virus.
Since leaving the Trump administration, she has expressed regret for how she handled her role as head of the White House coronavirus task force and has accused former administration officials of censoring her warnings about the severity of the pandemic.
Birx in October spent two days testifying for the panel behind closed doors. Birx said Trump’s resistance to promoting basic public health mitigation resulted in more than 100,000 avoidable deaths, and said Trump and other White House officials were “distracted” by the 2020 election.
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