Former Agency Head Files Whistleblower Complaint on Response to CCP Virus

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
May 5, 2020USshare
Former Agency Head Files Whistleblower Complaint on Response to CCP Virus
Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, in 2017. (Department of Health and Human Services/Handout via Reuters)

A doctor who recently led an agency inside the Department of Health of Human Services (HHS) filed a whistleblower complaint on Tuesday alleging leadership in the agency retaliated against him for voicing concerns about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Rick Bright recently headed HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The office is involved in developing a vaccine and analyzing possible treatments for COVID-19, a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Bright was shifted to another agency last month. Bright said the 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.”

In the new complaint (pdf), Bright’s legal team said Bright objected to the promotion of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19.

The two drugs were approved decades ago for treatment and prevention of malaria. They’re being prescribed in hospitals around the world against COVID-19, which has no proven treatment or vaccine.

Bright “felt an urgent and compelling need to inform the American public that there was insufficient scientific data to support the use of these drugs for COVID-19 patients,” the complaint, filed with the Office of Special Counsel, states.

Bright was worried that the drugs largely came from factories outside the United States that hadn’t been inspected by U.S. officials. Bright became frustrated with attempts to reason with his superiors and shared emails between HHS officials with a journalist, his lawyers said.

The “emails discussed the drug’s potential toxicity and demonstrated the political pressure to rush these drugs from Pakistan and India to American households,” according to the complaint. “Dr. Bright hoped that by shining a light on HHS’s reckless and dangerous push to make these drug available, American lives would be saved.”

hydroxychloroquine pills
An arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills is seen in Las Vegas on April 6, 2020. (John Locher/AP Photo)

The removal as BARDA’s head stemmed from the push against hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, Bright’s lawyers claim.

Bright is being represented by Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, two lawyers with Democratic political connections.

HHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. Bright requested emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, which enabled the distribution of the drugs for use in combating COVID-19, HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley told The Epoch Times last month.

Oakley said Bright was moving to the National Institutes of Health to work on the development and deployment of testing platforms.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine received emergency authorization in March for use against COVID-19. After reports of some patients suffering side effects, the Food and Drug Administration in late April warned against using the drugs outside of hospitals or clinical trials.

From The Epoch Times

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