“I’m not unhappy,” Bright told CBS Evening News host Norah O’Donnell in her first interview since losing her job. Detailing his concerns about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, he continued, “I am frustrated by the lack of leadership. I am frustrated by the lack of urgency to get a head start on developing life-saving tools for Americans. I am frustrated with our inability to be heard as scientists. These things frustrate me. “
Bright, a virologist who was director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health and Social Services, said that he thought he had lost that job and had gotten another one for having sounded the alarm on Trump promoting an unproven COVID. 19 treatment – a belief that the Special Council Office said earlier on Friday is justified.
“To get me out of our organization focused on drugs and vaccines and diagnostics in the middle of a pandemic, of the worst public health crisis that our country has experienced in a century, and to behead the organization BARDA … is not responsible, “Bright told me. ” It did not make sense. “
Bright filed a complaint with the special prosecutor after being transferred to a lesser position at the National Institutes of Health late last month.
The treatment Trump has touted is hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria treatment that the president has touted as an effective COVID-19 treatment despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. In a scathing statement Bright made shortly after his dismissal, he said he was under pressure to divert federal funding to unproven treatment.
Bright also told CBS News that the Trump administration wastes precious time which it could use to protect others working to treat patients.
“We see too many doctors and nurses dying,” Bright told O’Donnell. “And I thought we could have done more to get these masks and supplies sooner.” And if we had, would they still be alive today? It’s a horrible thought to think about the time that has passed when we could have done something and we didn’t do it. ”
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