Dr. Rick Bright has retained an attorney and will be filing a whistleblower complaint after the Trump administration fired him from his position as head of the federal agency charged with developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Bright was moved to a different agency with a narrower focus after he raised concerns over President Donald Trump’s obsession with promoting hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug recent studies found doubles the death rate in coronavirus patients.
“The Administration’s removal of Dr. Bright from his position as director of BARDA is retaliation plain and simple,” Bright’s attorneys, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, said in a statement, CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond reports.
“The results from the Administration’s refusal to listen to the experts and to sideline those like Dr. Bright who point out any errors in the government’s response will continue to be catastrophic for the American people,” Bright’s attorneys add. “We will request that the Office of Special Counsel seek a stay of Dr. Bright’s termination and that Dr. Bright be permitted to remain in his position pending the OSC and IG’s investigation of this unlawful forced transfer.”
Dr. Bright says he was removed “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.”
Dr. Bright has spent his entire career developing vaccines.
‘People are dying’: Reporter backs Trump advisor Larry Kudlow into a corner on president’s gross negligence
Tensions ran high at an outdoor press conference Friday when a reporter asked White House advisor Larry Kudlow, "Where is the President?" and he replied, "I don't understand."
The reporter said, "2,000 people a day are dying of COVID. Where is the President's leadership?"
CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid reported from Washington, D.C. Friday and shared the tweet below. The responses flowed in from there.
‘On the spot’: Fauci confirms he immediately accepted Biden’s offer for chief medical adviser
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed on Friday that he has accepted President-elect Joe Biden's offer to serve as chief medical adviser as the United States continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci appeared on "The Today Show" where he told NBC host Savannah Guthrie that he accepted Biden's offer "on the spot." It has been reported that Fauci will continue his role as the director of the NIAID while leading the country's fight against COVID-19. At one point during the interview, Guthrie asked about the preliminary plan that will be put place during Biden's first 100 days in office.
Top coronavirus aide warns US vaccination to take time
The White House coordinator on the coronavirus response cautioned Thursday that vaccinations across the United States will take time, even for the most at risk including around one-third of Americans living with other serious conditions.
"That's probably the most important question right now. It will be a number of weeks, a number of months before the most vulnerable individuals in America" are vaccinated, Deborah Birx told reporters from AFP and AP at the United Nations.
"We have 100 million Americans with significant comorbidities. It is going to take time to get them immunized," she said after meeting Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who led a largely virtual UN summit on the Covid-19 crisis.