Former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) vaccine chief Rick Bright, a whistleblower who claims his coronavirus warnings were not heeded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), claims that Donald Trump’s administration is continuing to retaliate against him. As reported by The Hill, Bright claims that top Trump officials are attempting to discredit him in his new role at the National Institutes of Health. In response, Trump claims that Bright is a “disgruntled guy” who is not fit to work in government.
In a 10-page amendment to his whistleblower complaint, Bright’s attorneys addressed the allegations.
“To the great detriment of the country’s public health and safety, Secretary Azar and his team have sidelined, disparaged and attempted to thwart the efforts of Dr. Bright, one of the nation’s leading pandemic and vaccine experts, to punish him for speaking out about HHS’s irresponsible and chaotic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to Courthouse News Service, the amendment claims Bright is excluded from working with the HHS on vaccines, including projects that he formed in response to the government’s current COVID-19 pandemic plan.
“He is cut off from all vaccine work, cut off from all therapeutic work, and has a very limited role in the diagnostic work,” the amendment reads.
As reported by NBC News, the amendment argues that Bright must have a collaborative relationship with his former employer, BARDA, and accuses HHS Secretary Alex Azar of intentionally trying to stifle Bright’s work in his new role.
Bright also accuses Trump of witness intimidation for attacking him shortly before he testified in front of Congress on his initial whistleblower complaints.
“This message was a clear attempt by the president to unnerve and intimidate Dr. Bright 90 minutes before his congressional testimony,” the amendment reads.
According to top HHS spokesman Michael Caputo, Bright’s complaint is misleading and uses misinformation and one-sided arguments that have allegedly been debunked. However, Caputo provided no examples or evidence to support his claims.
In his initial whistleblower complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel in May, Bright claimed his transfer from BARDA was due to his opposition to endorsing hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Trump and his allies previously promoted as a potential coronavirus cure.
As The Inquisitr reported, Bright also claimed in a 60 Minutes interview last month that he attempted to warn Trump’s administration about the severity of COVID-19 as early as January. In response, Bright claims the administration brushed off his concerns, despite some of his co-workers allegedly sharing his unsettlement.