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Whistleblower: U.S. officials ignored pandemic warnings

by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/06/20, 12:17 pm

A complaint from a former U.S. health official accuses the Trump administration of failing to act on critical information about the coronavirus pandemic. Rick Bright, who led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said some of his superiors dismissed his concerns about shortages of critical healthcare supplies such as masks. After he pushed back against promoting hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as treatments for COVID-19, HHS transferred him involuntarily to the National Institutes of Health. On the day of his transfer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared the two malaria drugs unsafe and unproven as a treatment for the new coronavirus.

Where is he now? HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said Bright is supposed to work on diagnostics testing at NIH but has not shown up for work. A spokeswoman for Bright said he took sick leave due to high blood pressure over the situation. He is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill next week.

Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings about how scientists are decoding the virus’s DNA to trace its spread around the globe.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 05/06/2020 03:00 pm

    If Mr. (Dr?) Bright says "some of his superiors dismissed his concerns about shortages of critical healthcare supplies," it seems like a mischaracterization to say "the Trump Administration" failed to act. 

    Of course, this is how most of our "news" media wants to frame everything, and that may be the actual wording from Mr. Bright, if he is a TDS sufferer. 

    But I would prefer not to see us also appear to be laying every bad thing at the feet of President Trump. 

  • JerryM
    Posted: Wed, 05/06/2020 05:59 pm

    Here we go again.  Next with media fanfare the House will start an investigation that leaks more damaging info and suppresses that Mr. Bright is a lifetime democrat...

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 05/06/2020 10:43 pm

    I don't understand why World Magazine lets this propaganda be pushed in their magazine! Where is your political sense? Haven't you seen the "Russian Collusion" campaign for what it was - an attempt to destroy a duly elected president?

    The advice and intelligence Trump originally received was that the Coronavirus was not a dangerous virus, but Trump still shut down the border with China over the objections of some of the officials. The Democrats are still trying to destroy Trump with unfounded propaganda using low level government officials that Trump likely never heard from before. This is the deep state that is working to destroy Trump where Democrats within government will work against the administration.

    Harvest, I challenge you to find out the party affiliation of these government workers, but then World Magazine has never impressed me with their investigative capabilities. The first step is to find out who these officials are. 

  • MH
    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 01:43 am

    Friends, this is not a whistleblower.  A whistleblower is one who reports illegal activity in his organization.  If all of Mr. Bright's allegations are true, that just means his superiors made some (possibly) wrong judgment calls.  That happens all the time in every organization.  The fact that Mr. Bright has not reported to his new assignment indicates that he is probably just another employee disgruntled that his superiors exercise their own independent judgment.

  • K&
    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 10:39 am

    Generally agree with other comments.  Based on reading the article, a more accurate and honest headline:

    Complaint: U.S. Dept HHS superiors dismissed pandemic concerns

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 11:16 am

    Thanks Ms Prude for your accurate and well documented article. This is always good info to know. Of course only time will tell what it is all about. 

    Also, thank you for the hyper link to the official document claim which gives many details. Including that he is a Dr. I don't see any issues with your coverage. I know Pres Trump appointed the head of HHS, who was then approved. He is part of President Trump's  Administration. All of this seems factual to me.
    Thank you for this accurate update and for  your due diligence, as noted with you obtaining a copy of the Claim most likely under the FOIA.

    I am concerned with people throwing accusations at you or World for this. It seems they are the ones who are rushing to judgment.