Dr. Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) who recently filed a whistleblower complaint after he was ousted from his position, testified before a House committee Thursday, saying that the darkest days of the pandemic might still be ahead of us unless the U.S. improves its coronavirus response.
As many states start easing lockdown restrictions, Bright cautioned that the window of opportunity to successfully fight the coronavirus is closing, and issued this stark warning: "Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history."
Bright called for a national testing strategy and testified that leadership ignored his early warnings about the crisis.
"I began pushing urgently in January along with some industry colleagues as well and those alarms were not responded to with action," he claimed.
One month ago, Bright was removed from his position as the director of BARDA, the federal agency working to find a vaccine. He claims his removal came after complaining no action was taken to stock up on treatments like Remdesavir while he raised alarms on promoting other untested drugs like hydroxychloroquine.
"My concerns about the safety of hydroxychloroquine in people infected with the COVID-19 virus were reflective of the review we received from inner agency group of clinicians and regulatory experts," he testified.
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