According to a prepared written testimony obtained by CNN, the recently ousted head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Rick Bright, is expected to testify to Congress tomorrow that the Trump administration was wholly unprepared for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and warn that America will soon face the “darkest winter in modern history” if the government doesn’t coordinate and enact an acceptable national response, and soon.
Bright is expected to tell members of Congress that the Department of Health and Human Services blatantly ignored the multiple warnings he issued in January, February, and March regarding the serious potential for an impending shortage of medical supplies needed to combat the virus.
The obtained documents indicate that he will testify that HHS “missed early warning signals” as well as “forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook” in the early stages of the outbreak. However, he will add that “for now, we need to focus on getting things right going forward.”
Recently, Bright filed a whistleblower complaint with the Office of Special Counsel against the Trump administration claiming that he was demoted from his position for trying to “prioritize science and safety over political expediency” after refusing to tout the unproven anti-malarial drugs that Donald Trump was attempting to peddle as a panacea to the virus. Bright’s testimony to Congress is expected to reiterate the complaints contained in his whistleblower report.
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The ousted official will tell Congress that he heavily urged HHS to ramp up the production of crucial medical supplies as early as January of this year. However, those warnings were ignored and Bright claims that he was “cut out of key high-level meetings to combat COVID-19.”
“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,” Bright’s prepared testimony reads.
In addition to revealing the shortcomings of the Trump administration, the former official also plans to call for a widespread, national strategy to respond to the deadly outbreak that will include “tests that are accurate, rapid, easy to use, low cost, and available to everyone who needs them.”
“Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,” Bright will testify.
You can read Bright’s full prepared testimony document here:
Featured image via screen capture
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