Donald Trump raged at 60 Minutes and anchor Norah O’Donnell after a segment on 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, and testified before Congress last week 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.
Trump had a meltdown on Twitter over the segment, tweeting: “[email protected] & third place anchor, @NorahODonnell, are doing everything in their power to demean our Country, much to the benefit of the Radical Left Democrats. Tonight they put on yet another Fake “Whistleblower”, a disgruntled employee who supports Dems, fabricates stories, &…….spews lies. @60Minutes report was incorrect, which they couldn’t care less about. Fake News! I don’t know this guy, never met him, but don’t like what I see. How can a creep like this show up to work tomorrow & report to @SecAzar, his boss, after trashing him on T.V.?……This whole Whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely, it is causing great injustice & harm. I hope you are listening @SenSusanCollins I also hope that Shari Redstone will take a look at her poorly performing gang. She knows how to make things right!”
In the segment, Bright repeated his earlier assertions about chloroquine and the administration’s failed response to the crisis.
Said Bright: “We don’t yet have a national strategy to respond fully to this pandemic. The best scientists that we have in our government who are working really hard to try to figure this out aren’t getting that clear, cohesive leadership, strategic plan message yet. Until they get that, it’s still going to be chaotic.”
Bright added: “I have been trained my entire life to recognize these outbreaks and recognize viruses. I have a Ph.D. in virology. I knew that all of the signs for a pandemic were present. A novel virus, infecting people, causing significant mortality and spreading. So all the signs were there. It was just a matter of time before that virus then jumped and left China and appeared in other countries. I believe my concerns were shared by other scientists in the government [in January]. And I believe the NIH was also moving very quickly to start some research in developing a vaccine and starting a clinical trial for an antiviral drug. What struck me though was my sense of urgency didn’t seem to prevail across all of HHS.”