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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