Trump slams disgruntled employee Rick Bright

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President Donald Trump ripped up Dr. Rick Bright, a whistleblower scientist on Thursday, just before Bright was about to testify in Congress that the United States “missed early warning signals” on the coronavirus .

“I do not know the so-called whistleblower Rick Bright, I have never met or even heard of him,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

“But to me, he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by the people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer work for our government! Said Trump.

Bright is scheduled to testify before the House Subcommittee on Health and Energy at 10:00 am (ET).

In his opening statement, Bright should say that Covid-19 could potentially make 2020 “the darkest winter in modern history” if leaders cannot organize a more coordinated response to contain the epidemic.

“Our window of opportunity closes. If we fail to develop a coordinated, science-based national response, I fear that the pandemic will worsen and continue, causing unprecedented disease and death, “said Bright’s testimony.

In late April, Bright was removed from his post as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and transferred to a position with less responsibility at the National Institutes of Health. He filed a formal complaint of denunciation with the United States Office of Special Advice after his removal.

Bright attorneys said he was sidelined in retaliation for his rejection of the Trump administration’s efforts “to provide unhindered access to potentially dangerous drugs, including chloroquine … which is not not tested and possibly fatal when used improperly ”.

In March and April, Trump repeatedly touted anti-malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as potentially effective treatments for the coronavirus. “It may help them, but it won’t hurt them,” Trump said in a press briefing at the White House in early April.

But Bright, in a statement first reported by the New York Times following his ouster from BARDA, said that he resisted the pressure to direct money to “potentially dangerous drugs”.

“I speak because to fight this deadly virus, science – not politics or cronyism – must lead the way,” said Bright, the Times reported.

On April 24, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to take chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 outside of a hospital. The FDA’s warning came after drug-related deaths and poisonings were reported.

A JAMA network study released on Monday found that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help Covid-19 patients – and puts them at increased risk for heart attacks.

NBC News reported that Bright also felt compelled to put in place a national program to expand access to hydroxychloroquine after the president spoke to Oracle president Larry Ellison who raised funds campaign for Trump.

Trump has mentioned drugs considerably less since late April. But when asked in a press briefing why he stopped promoting them, Trump said, “I don’t have it at all. I don’t have it at all. What do you say – we will see what happens … We have had a lot of very good results and we have had results which may not be so good. ”

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