Former White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said most coronavirus deaths in the United States were avoidable, during a CNN interview for a documentary scheduled to air Sunday.
In an excerpt from "Covid War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out," Birx said that while many deaths in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic were likely inevitable, the lethality of later waves could have been greatly reduced if the U.S. had "mitigated earlier ... paused earlier and actually done" greater social distancing and shutdown measures.
"I look at it this way," Birx told CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. "The first time, we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially."