Dr. Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, May 14, 2020. in Washington, DC.
Dr. Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, May 14, 2020. in Washington, DC.
Photo: Greg Nash (Getty Images)

Former top U.S. vaccine official, Rick Bright, walked into Congress Thursday and asked for a large bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a Nehi grape soda, and a pack of Marlboro Lights 100s and proceeded to give up everything he knew about how fucking screwed Americans are if they are waiting for the Trump administration to save them from the coronavirus.

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And he didn’t just stop there; Bright also claimed because of incompetence and the refusal to listen to people who study this shit, many lives were lost and the Trump administration is to blame.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bright, he was removed from his senior position at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) last month for refusing to push bogus drugs like hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus, which Trump was all in on when he wasn’t trying to convince people to take shots of bleach. Bright called the reassignment a good look at how things work in Trump’s administration in which retribution for disobeying command is the norm.

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From the Washington Post:

Bright alleged he was reassigned to a lesser post and locked out of his email account as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after pushing back against plans for the government to invest in unproven covid-19 treatments such as the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. The therapeutic that Trump touted largely has been abandoned by the government as trials since showed it can cause heart problems and other side effects in covid-19 patients.

Bright also went further, painting a bleak picture of the U.S. government’s ability going forward to manage a second wave of the virus if one coincides with the country’s winter flu season.

Bright said there is still “no master plan” for assessing the need for and distribution of masks, testing swabs and other medical equipment. Bright also said the government was doing a disservice to Americans by playing down the possibility that it could take years to develop a vaccine that could be ready for mass distribution.

The United States faces the “darkest winter in modern history” if it does not develop a more coordinated national response, he said. “Our window of opportunity is closing.”

Trump did the usual thing he does when he’s attacked; he took to Twitter to act like he doesn’t know the guy.

“I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, the Post notes. “Never met him or even heard of him, but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!”

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We all know by now that when Trump says he doesn’t know someone, he’s probably had them over to Mar-a-Lago for some tough Trump steaks slathered in ketchup. What was shocking was that HHS also came for Bright during his testimony, releasing a statement asking why Bright “has not yet shown up for work” and is “using his taxpayer-funded medical leave to work with partisan attorneys.” Bright has been on medical leave since his reassignment.

Peter Navarro, Trump’s adviser for trade and manufacturing, was critical of Bright and claimed he’s abandoned his mission.

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“I see him not just as a disgruntled employee but as a deserter in the war on the China virus,” Navarro told the Post. “That’s a harsh thing to say, but here’s what I mean: He was asked to move to NIH to be the field general for a billion-dollar testing effort to protect and defend the American people, and he refused that assignment so he could cling to his old job. He deserted his post and he’s not a guy I’d ever want to share a foxhole with.”

Mike Bowen, “co-owner of Prestige Ameritech, the country’s last full-line medical mask manufacturer,” also spoke to Congress Thursday, and noted how he offered to increase N95 mask production in January and was largely ignored. Bowen said that had the Trump administration listened to him, he could’ve produced some 7 million masks by now. When pressed by Republicans as to why he didn’t just move ahead with that plan, Bowen explained that without a contract of at least a year, he could’ve found himself hiring additional staff only to fire them months later.

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“Bowen said he went through that after the government cut short expected contracts in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic, and it nearly bankrupted the business,” the Post reports.

Bowen also noted that he’s a Republican and voted for Trump and was sickened by the way Republicans had treated Bright during his questioning.

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“I’ve watched all of this a little while ago. It seemed like everyone who was beating up on Dr. Bright was a Republican and everyone who was defending him was a Democrat. I’m a Republican, I voted for President Trump and I admire Dr. Bright,” Bowen added: “I don’t know what he did in all of the other activities, but I think what he said made a lot of sense, and I believe him,” the Post reports.

Asked later if he was upset by the way the administration had handled or mishandled in many cases, the pandemic, including reassigning Bright, Bowen said he had been.

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“I’m a lifelong Republican, and I’m embarrassed by how that’s been handled,” Bowen said. “Like Rick Bright said, it’s the scientists we need to be listening to, and we’re not.”

This is where both Bright and Bowen got it wrong as Trump has no problem listening to scientists as long as they toe the company tie. C’mon, have you seen Trump’s ties? Those fat shits are large enough to be “a line” and as such...fine, toe the company fat-ass tie! Is that better?

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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