HHS official to file whistleblower complaint over drug pushed by Trump
While Dr. Rick Bright seeks to expose the White House, the administration gears up for a fight countering with private emails
Earlier this week one of the nation’s federal vaccine scientists, Dr. Rick Bright was dismissed from his job as the director of the Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for refusing to promote a drug treatment touted by President Donald Trump.
Now comes word that he will soon file a whistleblower complaint alleging retaliation for not pushing hydroxychloroquine as a possible COVID-19 cure.
Bright’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, reportedly the same team used by Christine Ford Blassey, intend to file formal complaints with the federal Office of Special Counsel as well as the inspector general of the HHS over Bright’s forced transfer, per CNBC.com.
The complaints will detail “the retaliatory treatment to which he was subjected by HHS political leadership after raising appropriate science-based concerns about White House pressure on treatment and vaccines related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawyers said in a statement.
“In our filing, we will make clear that Dr. Bright was sidelined for one reason only — because he resisted efforts to provide unfettered access to potentially dangerous drugs, including chloroquine, a drug promoted by the Administration as a panacea, but which is untested and possibly deadly when used improperly,” the lawyers said.
“The facts and concerns raised by Dr. Bright are compelling and well-documented and soon they will be public.”
After Bright was forced out of his top position leading BARDA, he was given a job with fewer responsibilities at the National Institutes of Health, according to HHS.
Through his legal team, he has used a lengthy statement about his intention to take action, which was shared on Twitter.
Here is Dr. Rick Bright’s full statement, just emailed out by the law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks which will be representing him as he files a whistleblower complaint.
(First reported by @maggieNYT) pic.twitter.com/oQ3j9Z17SK
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 22, 2020
Meanwhile, Politico reports that internal emails show Bright praised the health department’s recent acquisition of millions of doses of potentially dangerous drugs, including chloroquine.
“If Bright opposed hydroxychloroquine, he certainly didn’t make that clear from his email – quite the opposite,” an unnamed official told Politico.