Filed by NPR’s Brian Naylor: “Richard Bright, a government scientist-turned-whistleblower, told a congressional panel Thursday that ‘time is running out’ and that the window is closing to address the pandemic ‘because we still do not have a standard, centralized, coordinated plan to take our nation through this response.
Bright added that without a stronger federal response, the coronavirus threatens to make 2020 the ‘darkest winter in modern history.’
“Bright was testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, which called the hearing after Bright filed a whistleblower complaint about being removed from his post as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)” and being more or less replaced by Jared Kushner.
“Bright said he believes ‘we could have done better‘ in responding to the coronavirus back in January when its deadly effects became apparent.
“He told lawmakers that he raised the need to obtain samples of the virus in meetings with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Once the virus began spreading, he said, his alarms were not responded to with action. Bright said he was told that his ‘urgings were causing a commotion,’ and he was removed from relevant meetings.