Today's Article
If we fail to develop a
national coordinated
response, [...] I fear the

pandemic will ... cause
unprecedented illness
and fatalities,' said Dr.
Rick Bright.
The American Spark
Trump’s Incoherent Response To COVID-19 Is Dangerous, Expert
Tells House

By Cliff Montgomery - May 31st, 2020

We would love to believe that we have beaten the coronavirus. But the continued increases of individuals
infected with COVID-19 remind us that the pandemic is still a major part of our lives.

We may try to re-open as many public places, restaurants and churches as we please: It won’t work. We can
only return to our lives after we’ve created a coherent, fact-based response that will at least keep the virus
from running rampant among our population, and perhaps someday eliminate it altogether.

It’s a very important point.

“If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse
and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities,” declared Dr. Rick Bright in a written testi
-
mony to the U.S. House Energy Subcommittee on Health.

Until recently, Dr. Bright served as director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
(BARDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and
Response.

Dr. Bright told House members he believes he was removed from his positions by Trump Administration
lackeys who wanted to silence his calls for a science-based, coordinated response to the pandemic. And
though the corporate media briefly discussed the political implications of these charges, few of them listened
seriously to Dr. Bright’s dire call for a proper, coherent approach to eliminating COVID-19 from our population.

The
American Spark hopes to change that.

Below, the
Spark quotes a great part of Dr. Bright’s testimony to the House Health Subcommittee. We will
publish the rest of his eye-opening statements tomorrow.


Good morning Chairwoman, Eshoo, Ranking Member Burgess and distinguished Members of the
Subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to testify today.

“I am Dr. Rick Bright, a career public servant and a scientist who has spent 25 years of my career focused on
addressing pandemic outbreaks. [...]

“On April 21, 2020, I was removed from my positions as the Director of BARDA and HHS Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Preparedness and Response by HHS leadership and involuntarily transferred to a more limited
and less impactful position at the National Institutes of Health.

“I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest funding allocated to
BARDA by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not
in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit.

“While my intention in testifying today is to be forward looking, I spoke out then and I am testifying today
because science – not politics or cronyism – must lead the way to combat this deadly virus.

“The world is confronting a great public health emergency which has the potential to eclipse the devastation
wrought by the 1918 influenza which globally claimed over 50 million lives. We face a highly-transmissible and
deadly virus which not only claims lives but is also disrupting the very foundations of our societies. The
American health-care system is being taxed to the limit, our economy is spiraling downward -- leading to mass
unemployment -- and our population is being paralyzed by fear stemming from the lack of a coordinated
response and a dearth of accurate, clear communication about the path forward.

“Americans yearn to get back to work, to open their businesses and provide for their families. I get that. We
need a national coordinated strategy to look at all of these pieces and to ensure that they fit well together. To
conceive and implement this strategy, our government must draw on the guidance of the best scientific minds.

“In my position as BARDA Director, I led portions of a coordinated response; development of vaccines, drugs
and diagnostics. In January of this year, I pushed for our government to obtain virus samples from China and
to secure more funding for BARDA to be able to get started quickly on the development of critical medical
countermeasures.

“HHS leadership was dismissive about my dire predictions about what I assumed would be a broader out
-
break and the pressing need to act, and were therefore unwilling to act with the urgency that the situation
required.

“Understanding that the United States had a critical shortage of necessary supplies and PPE [Personal
Protective Equipment] to deal with a pandemic, in January, February and March, 2020, I pushed HHS to ramp
up US production of masks, respirators and other critical supplies, such as medicine, syringes and swabs.

“Again, my urgency was dismissed and I was cut out of key high-level meetings to combat COVID-19.

“When I was nevertheless able to convey these urgent concerns by speaking directly with a senior White
House advisor and with members of Congress who better understood the urgency to act, I faced hostility and
marginalization from HHS officials.

“And finally, when I resisted efforts to promote and enable broad access to an unproven drug, chloroquine, to
the American people without transparent information on the potential health risks, I was removed from
BARDA.

“While I am unfortunately no longer leading BARDA, I am an expert in these areas and fully understand the
grave risks we are facing. I continue to believe that we must act urgently to effectively combat this deadly
disease. Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in
science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”



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