But it's not just the former president who came out looking bad. While Birx isn't wholly or even mostly responsible for Donald Trump's shocking negligence on a Covid-19 response, viewers were still left wondering: Why are we just learning about this now?
Right off the bat, Birx said she was the only person in the White House working full-time on the Covid-19 response. A pandemic was raging, killing more Americans than any war in more than 150 years, and the Trump administration was fighting it with a dedicated team of one.
Then Birx told her interviewer, Margaret Brennan, how the Trump administration simply passed the buck, ceding all responsibility to the states and offering them only "support" -- never fully explaining what that meant or understanding what they needed.
And she disclosed that there was "parallel data" coming into the White House that Trump relied on. Birx said she suspected it came from Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist Trump put on the task force, who spent the pandemic spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19.
Another jarring revelation: That nobody but Birx and her one aide regularly wore masks in the White House.
All of this would have been good to know back in the spring. Or summer. Or fall, as Americans were deciding whether or not to keep Trump in office.
Birx's interview is shocking and enraging. But to be fair to Birx, there are mitigating circumstances. Unlike the many power-seeking enablers and hangers-on who eagerly attached themselves to the Trump administration, Birx is a public servant who went where she was called in an emergency. The country was in crisis. Refusing to work for Trump could have put more lives at risk.
"If I think I have something to add, I feel like it's my obligation to the American public to go in and do that," Birx told Brennan. "That's what a civil servant is supposed to do."
Fauci was more distant from the administration, which gave him greater independence and wider leeway.
It's tough to imagine that Birx would have changed much of anything by speaking out. She had a choice: She could call out the president for lying, lose her job and leave the White House Covid-19 task force in the hands of people like Atlas. Or she could keep her mouth shut and try to clean things up from the inside.
She said she chose the second option, setting off to meet with state governors and help them with their Covid responses -- the only effective strategy at her disposal, since the Trump administration punted everything to the states.
Birx fundamentally sees herself as a person with technical expertise who helps to solve public health problems, not a supporter of any particular administration. But like so many long-time federal employees and creatures of Washington, she seems to have badly miscalculated just how political this administration would make a deadly virus, and just how willingly they would ignore the science and endanger the public to soothe the ego of a fragile, unpredictable man.
Even all of this context, though, doesn't absolve Birx. Yes, she's finally spilling a few of the beans about the former president's rank mismanagement of this crisis. But even in this latest interview, she was hesitant to be too critical of the Trump administration. She outlined her frustrations, but avoided pointed criticism of her former bosses. Even now, with Trump gone and retirement looming, Birx was unwilling to hold the previous administration fully to account.
At the very least, there should be a thorough investigation into how the Covid-19 response was so bungled. Who exactly is responsible for failing to protect millions of Americans from disease and death? How did all this happen? Unfortunately, it's still not clear that Birx would be a transparent and fully forthcoming part of that process.
Birx knows she made grave errors. "I could have done more, been more outspoken, maybe been more outspoken publicly," she said. While she didn't know how far she could have pushed the envelope, she wished she had pushed harder.
So do we.