Former President Donald J. Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator suggested that hundreds of thousands of Americans likely died needlessly from the coronavirus, and Mr. Trump’s testing czar said the administration lied to the public about the availability of testing, in interviews aired on CNN Sunday night.
The comments by Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, and Adm. Brett P. Giroir, who oversaw coronavirus testing for the Trump administration, were among a string of bombshells that emerged during a CNN special report that featured the doctors who led the government’s coronavirus response in 2020.
The interviews, with Sanjay Gutpa, the network’s chief medical correspondent, confirmed what was already an open secret in Washington: There was a high level of dysfunction and discord within the Trump administration, particularly in the pandemic response.
Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accused Mr. Trump’s health secretary, Alex M. Azar, and the secretary’s leadership team, of pressuring him to revise scientific reports. “Now he may deny that, but it’s true,” Dr. Redfield said. Mr. Azar, in a statement, denied it.