Earlier this morning, President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to tweet that he had never met or heard of ousted scientist and coronavirus whistleblower Rick Bright ahead of the scientist's congressional testimony.
Trump went on to say that Bright was not "liked or respected" by anyone he has spoken to about him and that he believes Bright is nothing more than a "disgruntled employee" that has no place in the government.According to CNBC, Bright's testimony to Congress is about the Trump administration's handling of America's coronavirus response. Since the tweet was published, Bright stood before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health with prepared remarks about Trump's handling of the virus.
The scientist believes the country will suffer "if leaders can't mount a more coordinated response to contain the outbreak."
Previously, Bright worked as the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. He was removed and sent to work for the National Institutes of Health, where the duties are reportedly less demanding. After his ousting, Bright filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
According to his attorneys, he was transferred after his outspoken criticism of Trump and his desire "to provide unfettered access to potentially dangerous drugs, including chloroquine... which is untested and possibly deadly when used improperly."
Trump previously came under fire for touting anti-malaria drugs as a potential cure for the coronavirus. He also received backlash after theorizing that disinfectants could potentially be injected into people suffering from the virus.
ABC News reported that Trump's attack on Bright comes just one day after the president "publicly rejected the advice of the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on how cautious governors and local officials need to be when reopening schools amid the pandemic."
The president told reporters that schools should be reopened as the virus has very little impact on younger people. Contrary to his statement, there have been increasing news reports of young folks becoming afflicted with COVID-19.
An article from CNN said Bright is hoping to be reinstated to his position as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
According to prepared testimony received by the publication, Bright is expected to warn Congress that "without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history."
He is also expected to reiterate that he believes he was removed from his position because he did not promote the use of unproven drugs to American citizens "without transparent information on the potential health risks."