A former prominent government scientist who says he was fired from his job by the Trump administration has resolved his whistleblower complaint against the federal government.
Rick Bright headed the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) until he was removed from office in April 2020.
Sparkly filed a whistleblower complaint Alleging that the Trump administration prioritized politics over science, and claimed that its efforts to reject the use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus contributed to its elimination.
According to the complaint, Bright lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the threat of the virus and the urgent need to act, but “encountered indifference that later turned into hostility from HHS leaders.”
As Bright lobbied HHS officials to provide the resources necessary to begin development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics to combat COVID-19, he alleged that former HHS Secretary Alex Azar focused on downplaying the threat of the virus.
After being removed as director of BARDA, Bright was reassigned to a much more limited role at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop COVID-19 treatments. Hey later filed an updated complaintAccusing top HHS officials of trying to discredit him and prevent him from succeeding in the new position.
According to his attorney Debra Katz, Bright’s employment claims have been resolved, but the investigation into his underlying claim of serious government wrongdoing is ongoing.
The Office of Special Counsel, a watchdog agency that investigates complaints from government whistleblowers, previously found “reasonable grounds” that the Trump administration retaliated against Bright.
HHS under the previous administration denied wrongdoing. The Hill has contacted the agency for comment.
In a statement, Katz’s office said Bright “has been compensated to the fullest extent permitted by law. He will receive back payments and compensatory damages for the anguish caused by the president and his administration’s vicious campaign to discredit him as a ‘scoundrel”. and a ‘disgruntled employee’ “.
Bright resigned from NIH in October. Following his departure from the Trump administration, he served in President BidenJoe Biden, Cuomo’s senior assistant, resigns. Berlin nightclubs participate in the COVID-19 pilot project.transition team as a member of the COVID-19 Task Force.
He is now working with the Rockefeller Foundation to develop a pandemic prevention institute that responds to emerging disease threats.
“I am grateful to have resolved my employment claims so that I can focus my full attention on my lifelong career goal: containing global outbreaks and preventing pandemics to ensure that the world never again suffers the consequences that we have seen in the past 18 months, “Bright said in a statement.