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COVID expert Deborah Birx says she 'knew' vaccines 'were not going to protect against infection'

Former Trump adviser says U.S. "overplayed the vaccines."

Published: July 23, 2022 11:58am

Updated: July 23, 2022 12:10pm

A former high-ranking federal COVID-19 adviser admitted this week that she "knew" the coronavirus vaccines "were not going to protect against infection," a stunning declaration that comes roughly 18 months after the shots were first rolled out to the general public. 

Dr. Deborah Birx, an infectious disease expert and a regular presence at the Trump White House during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, made the admission during an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Friday. 

Asked by Cavuto why Americans should wish to get vaccinated if they see the number of individuals getting COVID even after getting the shot, Birx conceded: "I knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection and I think we overplayed the vaccines."

Birx suggested that overstatements made about the vaccines "made people then worry that it's not going to protect against severe disease and hospitalization."

"It will," she argued, urging Americans also to consider taking the antiviral Paxlovid. 

Birx's astonishing statement comes many months after multiple high-ranking federal officials indicated that getting the vaccine would indeed prevent the patient from both getting and spreading the virus. 

President Joe Biden last year claimed that "you're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations," while CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made a similar claim last April.

In the roughly year-and-a-half since the COVID vaccine rollouts, "breakthrough infections" have become commonplace, with Americans regularly getting infected with COVID even after getting vaccinated and boosted. 

Like Birx, health officials have argued that, even if the vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission, it still helps prevent severe cases of COVID and/or deaths from the disease.

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