Watch Jim Acosta grill Deborah Birx over why she put up with Trump's 'bonkers' pandemic disinformation

Former Trump administration coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx was the subject of an intense interview by CNN's Jim Acosta on Saturday about her new book Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It's Too Late.

Acosta played a clip of Trump's infamous statement suggesting injecting disinfectants into humans to kill the virus.

"I have to ask, what was going through your head there when you were listening to this?" Acosta asked. "And I know you're saying I got out on the road and talked to people and I was trying to do as much I could with all of these other experts, but at the end of the day you hear something that bonkers coming from the president of the United States, how could you have any faith in him whatsoever?"

"I talked to Trump advisers, people close to the then president at the time who thought it was bananas for him to talk about injecting yourself with disinfectant, and didn't you think what's wrong with this guy?"

Birx noted Trump's comments originated with a DHS study on sunlight as a disinfectant on surfaces to re-open playgrounds.

"Frankly, I was so taken aback in that moment," Birx said. "Obviously at the end of that, I said, not a treatment, contacted the CDC, FDA and got them to post that and within seconds of leaving the press briefing, made sure the senior advisers knew they needed to get to the president and tell him that this, as you said, was bonkers."

Acosta followed-up.

"But I have to come back to this question because to me, it puzzles me to this day. How could anybody in their right mind working with the president that the time think he was dealing with reality? If you were to go up to any person on the street and somebody was rambling about injecting themselves with disinfectant, you would question what is going on in their heads and here he's going to be the president for months and months and months dealing with pandemic," Acosta said.

"That's why I come back to this question and I don't mean to go off on you, I don't understand why you or some of the others in the administration didn't get out in front of the camera and say he's not dealing with reality anymore. He's lost it. This is bonkers," Acosta said.


Dr Deborah Birx