Vaccine expert, Rick Bright, led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority since 2016.
Bright formally filed an extensive whistleblower complaint on Tuesday alleging his early coronavirus warnings were ignored by the Department of Health and Human Services and his caution against recommending untested hydroxychloroquine as a treatment led to his removal.
Bright says he resisted widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, which Trump had repeatedly touted, because the claims of its benefit lacked “scientific merit.” Bright said the administration promoted it as a panacea and demanded that New York and New Jersey be ‘flooded’ with these drugs.”
Bright says his concerns were first raised in January.
His attorneys argue that Bright’s removal from his post amounts to a violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
“Dr. Bright pressed for urgent access to funding, personnel and clinical specimens, including viruses, which he emphasized were all critically necessary to begin development of lifesaving medicines needed in the likely event that the virus spread outside of Southeast Asia.”
The day before the complaint was filed to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, President Trump announced he was firing the inspector general, Christi Grimm, and nominating a handpicked replacement.