A prominent doctor in charge of developing a vaccine for the coronavirus says he was fired by President Trump Wednesday after a disagreement over pushing unproven medical treatments.
The New York Times published a statement from Dr. Rick Bright, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), after he was transferred out of his position and into a lesser role at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Bright said, “I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the Covid-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” adding that he “resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.”
The disagreement between Bright and the President began after the doctor questioned the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in treating patients with coronavirus.
The anti-malaria medication has curiously been a fixation of the president and right-wing media, being hailed as a wonder cure despite no evidence.
A Veterans Affairs study published this week concluded that the drug showed “no benefit in a large analysis of its use” in helping patients with coronavirus. In fact, people who took the drug died at a greater rate than those who did not.
Dr. Bright’s law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks issued a statement Wednesday afternoon stating that they will file a whistleblower complaint on behalf of their client.
This behavior is par for the course for a president with a history of targeting and sowing distrust in experts. He and his supporters have most recently railed against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading authority on infectious diseases.
white nationalist rallies ‘liberate’ protests throughout the country, MAGA supporters can be heard chanting “Fire Fauci” as they demand to “reopen the economy” without regard to public health risks.