Trump Goes After Health Whistleblower Ahead Of Thursday Testimony Before Congress

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Christian Datoc Senior White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that Rick Bright, a senior National Institutes of Health (NIH) official and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at Health and Human Services, “should no longer be working for our government.”

“I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him,” the president wrote. “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!”

Trump’s comment comes ahead of Bright’s Thursday testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee on a whistleblower complaint he filed alleging the administration forced him out of his role at BARDA for voicing concerns about hydroxychloroquine’s use as a coronavirus therapy. He was then reassigned to NIH. (RELATED: Coronavirus Jobless Claims Top 36 Million After Department Of Labor Reports 2.98 Million New Claims Filed Over Past Week)

Bright will testify that America’s window for addressing coronavirus is rapidly “closing,” and that inadequate preparation will lead to the “darkest winter in modern history,” according to CNN.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing about coronavirus testing in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Several White House staff members and aides have recently tested positive for the coronavirus and three top health officials from the White House coronavirus task force are now self-quarantining after potential exposure. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bright’s testimony comes just days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the top health experts on the White House’s coronavirus task force, testified before the Senate. Among other comments, Fauci expressed concern that neither a vaccine nor viable therapy would be produced in time for higher education to reopen campuses for the fall term, which Trump rebuked on Wednesday.

The White House has reportedly tapped Moncef Slaoui and General Gustave Perna to head the “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine initiative, previously managed in part by Bright at BARDA.