Trump Attacks Whistleblower Rick Bright for '60 Minutes' Interview; Accuse Him of Spewing Lies

US President Donald Trump Hits out at Rick Bright, calling him a fake whistleblower.

United States President Donald Trump has been vouching for anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. After claiming he is taking the tablets himself, he has yet again verbally attacked whistleblower Rick Bright. Slamming "60 Minutes" for Rick Bright's interview that accused Trump and his associates of pressurizing the vaccine official to sign an agreement regarding the drug, Trump called Bright a fake whistleblower.

Trump's comments came after "60 Minutes" aired an extended interview with Rick Bright, explaining in detail about the political pressure he had to face. The then director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), who was sacked by Trump administration recently, said that Trump's political appointees pressured him to make an untested drug widely available. When he resisted, he was shuffled to a new job.

Bright Was Asked to Sign Emergency Application

Donald Trump

Bright said that he was directed to sign an emergency application to allow the use of the drug in hospitals. Bright confessed that he had to sign it as a compromise with Trump appointees who were pressuring him to release the drug with the wider reach. Bright had signed an emergency request seeking the FDA to approve the use of hydroxychloroquine on patients who are hospitalized and not the participants of clinical trials. The FDA issued the notice to use hydroxychloroquine in hospitals from March 28.

Bright was sacked from his post in late April. After this, he submitted a 63-page complaint on May 5 to the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) explaining the ordeal he had to go through in his previous job due to the promotion of hydroxychloroquine.

How Trump Reacted to Bright's Complaint

Trump in a three-part tweet slammed Rick Bright and called him a fake whistleblower. He accused Bright of siding with left, democratic representatives. "60Minutes and third place anchor, NorahODonnell, are doing everything in their power to demean our country, much to the benefit of the Radical Left Democrats. Tonight they put on yet another Fake "Whistleblower", a disgruntled employee who supports Dems, fabricates stories, spews lies," his first tweet read.

"60Minutes report was incorrect, which they couldn't care less about. Fake News! I don't know this guy, never met him, but don't like what I see. How can a creep like this show up to work tomorrow & report to @SecAzar, his boss, after trashing him on TV?," the second part of the tweet said.

Continuing the same, "This whole Whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely, it is causing great injustice & harm," Trump mentioned.

Trump tweet
US President Donald Trump tweet slamming Rick Bright of demeaning the country by being a whistleblower against hydroxychloroquine. Twitter

Meanwhile, the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sought the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Alex Azar, to conduct an investigation into Bright's removal and report his findings within 60 days. Azar also criticized Bright and said, "Dr Bright literally signed the application for FDA authorization of it — literally, he's the sponsor of it."

It can be noted that Bright's complaint also includes Azar's name where he described how Azar too called for a broader authorization for use of hydroxychloroquine and not just limit it to hospitals. Azar's representatives said that Bright had praised the members of his team for their work to acquire chloroquine on multiple occasions. He had worked to acquire hydroxychloroquine from Teva Pharmaceuticals, they added.

Trump Continues to Bat for Hydroxychloroquine

Even after FDA not approving the drug citing heart ailments in patients administered with the anti-malarial drug, Trump has taken another step to promote hydroxychloroquine. On Monday (May 18), Trump made an announcement that he was consuming one pill (hydroxychloroquine) every day for a week now despite not having any symptoms of COVID-19.

This article was first published on May 20, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus