Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed well over 50,000 lives in the U.S. alone, a top public health official says that he believes that he was removed from his post in the Trump administration for pushing back against political appointees on the subject of hydroxychloroquine as a Coronavirus treatment, which the president and his political allies have rushed to promote in their mad dash to secure some kind of quick fix for the pandemic. Dr. Rick Bright led the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the Department of Health and Human Services until earlier this week, and he revealed his clashes with the Trump team’s politics shortly after his dismissal, revealing that he’d be filing a whistleblower complaint with the inspector general’s office for his department.
Q: Did Dr. Rick Bright get pushed out of his job as the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA?
Pres Trump: "I have never heard of him…Maybe he was maybe he wasn't. "
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 22, 2020
Bright now works at the National Institutes of Health on what a HHS spokesperson claims includes “development and deployment of novel point-of-care testing platform,” Axios reports, although Trump himself has dubiously claimed that he doesn’t even know Bright. The doctor claims that his abrupt firing from his old job, which included supervision of vaccine development, was not clean, sharing:
‘I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way.’
Here is Dr. Rick Bright's full statement, just emailed out by the law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks which will be representing him as he files a whistleblower complaint.
(First reported by @maggieNYT) pic.twitter.com/oQ3j9Z17SK
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 22, 2020
Bright added that he apparently faced “criticism for my proactive efforts to invest early into vaccines and supplies critical to saving American lives” and “resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.”
Will anyone who breathlessly pitched hydroxychloroquine as a miracle drug show a modicum of regret or even self-awareness over this? Doubtful. More likely is they’ll ignore the study entirelyhttps://t.co/sPcSysahv2
— Sam Stein (@samstein) April 21, 2020
There is, as even Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has made clear, no scientific study-backed evidence for the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a Coronavirus treatment outside of the medication’s ordinary usage as a treatment for malaria. Now, clinical trial results have emerged indicating that veterans afflicted with the Coronavirus who took the malaria drugs actually died at a higher rate than those who did not — although there has yet to be any kind of takeback from the president and his shills who have pushed the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine, long touted by President Trump, is of no use treating Covid-19 and actually causes more deaths than standard care, per a large new study. https://t.co/eCpEH9DGS0
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) April 21, 2020
Bright insists that he “rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public,” because the “drugs have potentially serious risks associated with them, including increased mortality observed in some recent studies in patients with COVID-19.”
That’s not even the end of the president’s thoroughly questionable at best medical “advice” amidst the pandemic. This past week, at a White House press conference, he even suggested the injection of household disinfectants as a potentially useful treatment path for the Coronavirus. He promptly faced widespread criticism for his reckless incompetence. On Friday, he claimed that he was just being sarcastic. There’s no evidence for this — shortly before that claim, the White House even issued their own “defense” for the president that completely took the seriousness of his remarks as a given.