Health officials in the Administration of President Donald Trump ignored multiple warnings about the need to prepare for and purchase face masks and protective equipment in the face of the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, a government scientist who was fired last month reported Tuesday.
Dr. Rick Bright, who headed the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority, assured in his formal complaint that his first warnings about the coronavirus, in January and February, were ignored and that it was finally stopped when raising doubts about the efficacy of a treatment. that Trump himself defended.
The doctor presented his case to the Office of the Special Council, an agency that oversees that officials who file complaints against other government employees are not retaliated against.RELATED
Bright was abruptly dismissed in April and had to leave the management of that investigative agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, which, among other functions, oversees the investigation into a vaccine against COVID-19.
The doctor specifically mentions as reasons for his dismissal retaliation for confronting the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, whom, he says, tried to convince for a prompt mobilization to obtain masks and other protective equipment in the event of the outbreak of the virus.
“The Health Department political leadership unfoundedly criticized (Bright) for striving to invest early in the development of vaccines, as well as essential supplies such as face masks, respirators, and swabs, which were in short supply and would be needed against COVID -19 “, indicates the complaint, 89 pages.
Rather than heed his warnings, issued before the first cases of the disease emerged in the US, Bright says he was excluded from key planning meetings.
Another reason he cites is his skepticism about the effectiveness, as a COVID-19 treatment, of an antimalarial drug that Trump touted as an effective remedy, without clinical trials proving it.
Since March, Trump has defended the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but has gradually stopped promoting these drugs, the use of which is unadvisable by the Administration against medical supervision against the coronavirus. of Food and Medicines for its adverse effects.
According to Bright, the government’s promotion of these drugs was in response to “an apparent effort to achieve a short-term political victory for the Administration during the growing health crisis.”
He added that the Ministry of Health came to pressure the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority “to promote chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, as a therapeutic agent for COVID-19, despite a clear lack of scientific support” .
More than 1,180,000 infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have already been detected in the United States, while deaths amount to just over 70,000.