Tags: Coronavirus | Trump Administration | hcq

Vaccine Official Says He Was Dismissed for Questioning Trump Coronavirus Treatment Theory

Vaccine Official Says He Was Dismissed for Questioning Trump Coronavirus Treatment Theory
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2020 08:10 PM

The director of the office involved in trying to develop a viable COVID-19 vaccine claims he's been dismissed from the post in part because he resisted efforts to widen availability of an antimalarial medication touted by President Donald Trump as a potential game-changer in the pandemic.

The official, Dr. Rick Bright, had led BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) since 2016. But, as CNN reported, on Tuesday he was reassigned to a narrower position.

The news network said Bright will file a whistleblower complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general.

"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," Bright said in a lengthy statement issued Wednesday and quoted by several news outlets. "I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science -- not politics or cronyism -- has to lead the way."

Said NPR, Bright specifically said that "contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit."

At his daily virus briefing at the White House on Wednesday, Trump addressed the allegation, saying he didn't know who Bright was.

"I never heard of him," Trump told reporters. "You mentioned the name, I never heard of them. 

"When did this happen? I never heard of them. The guy says he was pushed out of a job. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn't. I don't know who he is."

On Wednesday night, The Hill reported that Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., was calling for an investigation into the removal of Bright. The news site said Markey asked the Department of Health and Human Services's (HHS) inspector general to open an investigation into Bright’s reassignment to a lower-level position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The president suggested last month on Twitter that taking a combination of hydroxychloroquine — which is used to treat lupus and to prevent malaria — and azithromycin could be "one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine."

HCQ is being studied for its effects related to the coronavirus. Some studies have seen evidence of other toxicities associated with the drug's use.

NPR said that Bright's lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, will also seek a stay of his termination. The attorneys have also represented several high-profile whistleblowers and #MeToo accusers, including Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said at the news conference it's his understanding that Bright will be at the NIH, "responsible for the development of diagnostics, which is very, very important."

Newsmax's Eric Mack contributed to this report.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
The director of the office involved in trying to develop a viable COVID-19 vaccine claims he's been dismissed from the post in part because he resisted efforts to widen availability of an antimalarial medication touted by President Donald Trump as a potential game-changer...
hcq
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2020-10-22
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 08:10 PM
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