US Official Files Whistleblower Complaint to Combat Trump's COVID-19 Corruption #CorruptTrump
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The Intercept Reports: Official Fired for Standing up to Trump's Coronavirus Corruption Files Whistleblower Complaints
The US government official who oversaw the purchasing of vaccines, treatments, and tests for coronavirus was fired after he contradicted Trump. He has now filed a whistleblower complaint in response.
Richard Bright, the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response in the federal department of Health and Human Services, was already clashing with his political bosses before the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to a 63-page document Bright’s lawyers filed with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. They initially said Bright would file his complaint with both the HHS Inspector General and the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates abuses against federal employees. But after Trump fired the inspector general last week, his attorneys filed his complaint only with the Office of Special Counsel.
Bright's resistance to the use of hydroxychloroquine and other drugs to treat Covid-19, that "lacked scientific merit and had not received prior scientific vetting,” is what ultimately cost him his job.
Bright’s relationship with HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Bright’s direct superior, Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, had been tense since at least 2018. According to the whistleblower complaint, both Kadlec — who has no scientific training and previously served on the staff of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. — and Azar wanted him fired because Bright resisted what he saw as the outsized influence of industry consultants, including one who represented a company with ties to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Bright described multiple instances where procedures meant to adhere to scientific standards were pushed aside for political motives. For instance, in 2018, Kadlec approved a $55 million contract that supported a drug that a task force of scientific experts did not believe should have funding.
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