Coronavirus Whistleblower Rick Bright to Issue Stark Warning to Congress

14 Mai, 2020, 10:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Federal scientist Richard Bright is seen during a 2018 congressional hearing

An ousted USA health official will warn Congress today that Americans face their "darkest winter" in decades if the country fails to deploy a coordinated response against the coronavirus pandemic. "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", Bright is expected to say Thursday, according to his prepared testimony obtained by CNN.

He also cautioned against the push to re-open the economy against the explicit warnings of health care experts, saying it could lead to "the darkest winter in modern history".

Bright's whistleblower complaint alleges that he was pushed out over "his objections and resistance to funding potentially unsafe drugs promoted by those with political connections and by the Administration itself".

As ABC News previously reported, medical experts and sources familiar with the organization have privately raised concerns about the agency.

He said he was removed for opposing the use of malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus, a treatment that was repeatedly promoted by President Donald Trump despite little scientific evidence of success.

Bright would like to be reinstated to his position.

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Responding to the complaint, HHS spokesperson Oakley said in a subsequent statement: "This is a personnel matter that is now under review".

United States officials were "dismissive" about his dire warnings early this year about the critical shortage of necessary supplies like masks, swabs and medicine and the lack of appropriate funding, he will say.

"As I reflect on the past few months of this outbreak, it is painfully clear that we were not as prepared as we should have been. We missed early warning signals and we forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook", Bright will testify, according to his written testimony.

"We need to be able to trust the results so that we can trace contacts, isolate and quarantine appropriately while striving to develop a cure", he says.

Bright will call for a national strategy to combat the virus, including "tests that are accurate, rapid, easy to use, low cost, and available to everyone who needs them".

"HHS leadership was dismissive about my dire predictions about what I assumed would be a broader outbreak and the pressing need to act, and were therefore unwilling to act with the urgency that the situation required", Bright's statement said, mirroring the allegations of his whistleblower complaint.

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