Dr. Rick Bright, a leading government virologist, testified about the retaliation he faced after raising concerns over Trump’s support for hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.
Dr. Rick Bright, a top government scientist turned whistleblower, testified Thursday that the US is likely to face its “darkest winter in modern history” without a national coordinated response to the pandemic.
Bright filed a whistleblower complaint claiming that he was fired as the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) after he voiced concerns over Trump’s support of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.
Bright, a virologist with 25 years of experience in addressing pandemics, testified before the Subcommittee on Health for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday.
He warned that the nation’s “window of opportunity is closing” to effectively combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged,” Bright said. “There will be likely a resurgence of COVID-19 this fall and it will be greatly compounded by the challenges of seasonal influenza. Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history,” he said.
Before Bright’s testimony Thursday, Trump slammed him in a tweet, calling him a “disgruntled employee” who “should no longer be working for our government.”