Scientist says administration ignored virus warnings

Dr. Rick Bright claims he was reassigned to a lesser role for resisting political pressure to allow widespread use of malaria drug pushed by President Trump.

By

National News

May 6, 2020 - 10:08 AM

Dr. Rick Bright

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration failed to prepare for the onslaught of the coronavirus,  then sought a quick fix by trying to rush an unproven drug to patients, a senior government scientist alleged in a whistleblower complaint.

Dr. Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, alleges he was reassigned to a lesser role because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug pushed by President Donald Trump. He said the administration wanted to “flood” hot spots in New York and New Jersey with the drug.

“I witnessed government leadership rushing blindly into a potentially dangerous situation by bringing in a non-FDA approved chloroquine from Pakistan and India, from facilities that had never been approved by the FDA,” Bright said Tuesday on a call with reporters. “Their eagerness to push blindly forward without sufficient data to put this drug into the hands of Americans was alarming to me and my fellow scientists.”

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