Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace put Dr. Birx in the hot seat when he played video of her projecting 60,000 virus deaths as the nation is set to pass 100,000.
Transcript via Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: A month ago you and President Trump were both talking about a total of 16,000 COVID-19 deaths. Take a look.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It looks like we’ll be about a 60,000 mark which is 40,000 less than the lowest number thought of.
BIRX: Look at how much the model has changed in just a week. Remember just a week ago it was 80,000. Now it’s 60,000.
WALLACE: Early this coming week, we’re going to reach 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus and those models that you were citing now talk about close to 150,000 deaths by August. What happened, Doctor?
BIRX: I think a few things are together. So from the beginning, and I think when we had that first briefing we talked about 1.2 million to 2.4 million and 100,000 to 240,000 people succumbing to this incredibly aggressive virus. Those are the figures that we continue to stand by in this first wave and really understanding how to prevent future hospitalizations and future deaths is really what we’re focused on every single day.
WALLACE: But to press it a little bit, a month ago, you were saying we were going to come down below the low end of the model, which is 100,000 to 240,000 to 60,000. So I guess my question is, in this last month, did you underestimate the strength of the virus? Did we reopen too soon? Did we reopen without sufficient restrictions?
Chris Wallace begins his interview with Dr. Birx by playing tape of her saying last month that 60,000 Americans would die from coronavirus (we're now about to break 100k) and asks her what changed. Birx dissembles without answering the question. pic.twitter.com/PkrsATAHv9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 24, 2020
The Trump administration wants everyone to pretend like what they said two weeks or two months ago never happened. Dr. Birx works for Trump and the reason why Birx has been seen more in the media than Fauci lately is that she is willing to play ball and be his political operative.
Fox is still worried about lawsuits, which is why you are seeing facts creep into their coverage, but also, they see the polling. Fox is also preparing for life after Trump.
Birx set whatever amount of credibility that she had on fire long ago. What we are seeing is conservative outlets that will outlive the Trump presidency try to distance themselves from the presidential dumpster fire.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association