Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump’s former coronavirus adviser, Dr. Deborah Birx, claims that 30 to 40 percent of the total coronavirus deaths could have been stopped had the White House been less focused on the 2020 election.

In closed-door testimony to the House Select Coronavirus Subcommittee this month, excerpts show that Birx claimed that up to 130,000 lives could have been saved if the administration had promoted mask-wearing and social distancing in the pandemic’s early days. The White House did, however, promulgate the “15 days to slow the spread” talking point while Dr. Anthony Fauci said people had “no reason” to be wearing masks. Birx said:

I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range.