Former immunologist at the Department of Health and Human Services Rick Bright, who until recently was leading the agency tasked with developing a vaccine for coronavirus, testifed before Congress today offering a dire message about the pandemic.
From the New York Times:
Dr. Rick Bright, the whistle-blower who was ousted as head of a federal agency involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, warned Congress on Thursday that the Covid-19 outbreak will “get worse and be prolonged” if the United States does not swiftly develop a national testing strategy and devise a plan for distributing a vaccine.
“The window is closing to address this pandemic because we still do not have a standard, centralized, coordinated plan to take this nation through this response,” said Dr. Bright, who was abruptly removed last month from his position as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
He told lawmakers on a House health subcommittee that the country could be facing “the darkest winter in modern history” if the administration did not act swiftly, as Americans become “restless” to leave their homes.
Bright was removed from his position because he refused to promote an anti-malaria drug championed by Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19. Numerous studies have shown the drug can have negative effects on patients with the coronavirus.