Asked if the government was 'lying or guessing' about COVID vax data, Birx admits: 'I don't know'

Doctor served in the Trump administration at outset of pandemic

Updated: June 25, 2022 - 11:56am

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    Deborah Birx, the infectious disease specialist who was a fixture of the federal government's pandemic response at the start of the pandemic in 2020, made a stunning admission this week when she said she could not confidently rule out that the government last year was lying about COVID-19 vaccination efficacy.

    Multiple Biden administration officials, including President Joe Biden himself as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, indicated repeatedly last year that individuals who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 could not contract the virus. 

    Over the past year, however, "breakthrough infections" have become a common feature of life in the post-vaccination era of the COVID pandemic, with many vaccinated people regularly getting infected by the virus.

    Asked by Rep. Jim Jordan during a congressional hearing on Thursday whether government officials were "guessing or ... lying" by making those claims, Birx bluntly responded: "I don't know." 

    "All I know is there was evidence from the global pandemic that natural reinfection was occurring, and since the vaccine was based on natural immunity, you cannot make the conclusion that the vaccine will do better than natural infection."

    Pressed by Jordan on the fact that she "can't rule out the fact that our government was lying to us when they told us the vaccinated could not get the virus," Birx responded: "I don't know about their discussions that they had in the task force."

    Since the vaccine's rollout in late 2020 and early 2021, health officials have repeatedly urged Americans to receive "boosters" of the vaccine in order to bolster their protection from the virus. 

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