Trump White House told doctors to remove masks for a press conference: 'They didn't take this seriously'

Dr. Deborah Birx revealed that at one point during the pandemic, the president was discouraging wearing masks, which trickled down to everyone on the staff and every Republican leader.

"I have to tell you, when we last met in November at the White House, this is post-election, the president, members of his family and people within the White House had been infected with the virus," said CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "And I was so struck inside at the White House at that time how few masks I saw. Did it strike you?"

"Well, that was my world every day," said Dr. Birx. "There was a feeling in the White House from the beginning. And I don't know if this is true or not because I never confronted the president because I didn't have access to him by that time -- that the president was not supportive of mask-wearing in the White House. And that trickled down through every single leader. There was one event in the Rose Garden. It was made clear that they didn't want us wearing masks. And, so, all of the cabinet officials, and even some of the military members, took their masks off. Dr. Fauci and I did not, and you can see we are way in the back because they didn't want us front-and-center and masked."

"You were the COVID coordinator and no one around you is wearing masks," Dr. Gupta continued. "That must have felt like you were being marginalized, that people weren't listening to you."

"I was marginalized every day. I would say a majority of people in the White House did not take this seriously," Dr. Birx said.

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