Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) who alleged in a whistleblower complaint that he was ousted from his position after resisting the Trump administration’s efforts to allow widespread use of hydrooxychloroquine, plans to testify before Congress on Thursday that his urgent advice to ramp up production of respirators and medical supplies as early as January were ignored and that the U.S. faces the “darkest winter in modern history” if a coordinated national response is not implemented immediately.
CNN obtained prepared testimony which reads: “Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities. Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history.”
Read Bright’s full opening statement here.
CNN adds: “Bright is seeking to be reinstated to his position as the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Office of Special Counsel, which is reviewing Bright’s complaint, has determined there is reason to believe his removal was retaliatory and is recommending he be reinstated during its investigation, according to Bright’s attorneys.”
A May 5 report on Bright’s ouster: