CNN reports that Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of a key federal office charged with developing medical countermeasures, will testify before Congress on Thursday that the Trump administration was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic and warn that the US will face “unprecedented illness and fatalities” without additional preparations.
“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,” Bright is expected to say Thursday, according to his prepared testimony obtained by CNN. “Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history.”
Bright is set to testify Thursday morning before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee after he filed a whistleblower complaint last week alleging he was removed from his post in retaliation for opposing the broad use of a drug frequently touted by President Donald Trump as a coronavirus treatment.
Bright will reiterate that he believes he was removed from his post because he “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.”