Birx: Most U.S. COVID deaths "could have been mitigated" after first 100,000

In it, CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta asked Birx how much of a difference she thinks it would have made had the United States “mitigated earlier, … paused earlier and actually done it,” referring to extending shutdowns, urging people to wear masks and implementing other steps to slow the spread of the virus.

“I look at it this way: The first time, we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge,” Birx told Gupta. “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”