Head of Department in Charge of Developing Coronavirus Vaccine Claims He Was Ousted Over Reluctance to Malaria Drug: Report

The doctor in charge of a federal department that is responsible for developing a vaccine to the coronavirus claims he was removed for limiting the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the virus.

Dr. Rick Bright, the former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), told The New York Times he believes he was removed from his position for limiting the use of those two drugs — which President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted as potential cures for the virus.

Bright, who was removed this week, was given a narrower position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH.)

“I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” Bright said in a statement to the Times.

He added, “I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way.”

Neither the White House nor the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded to the Times’ story.

Bright, who led the agency since 2016, said, “My professional background has prepared me for a moment like this — to confront and defeat a deadly virus that threatens Americans and people around the globe. To this point, I have led the government’s efforts to invest in the best science available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Additionally, he said that he frequently clashed with HHS leadership over directives to allow widespread use of the drugs, “I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit.”

Bright continued to say he sought to restrict the use of the drugs, typically used to treat malaria, for patients who were hospitalized with the virus, “I insisted that these drugs be provided only to hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 while under the supervision of a physician.”

He noted the potential risks associated with the drugs, “These drugs have potentially serious risks associated with them, including increased mortality observed in some recent studies in patients with Covid-19.”

“Sidelining me in the middle of this pandemic and placing politics and cronyism ahead of science puts lives at risk and stunts national efforts to safely and effectively address this urgent public health crisis,” he added.

He also said he would call for an inspector general review of the “manner in which this administration has politicized the work of BARDA and has pressured me and other conscientious scientists to fund companies with political connections and efforts that lack scientific merit.”

Additionally, Bright said he hired a pair of lawyers who represented Christine Blasey Ford during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The Times’ story comes as a panel at NIH recommended against that use of a pair of the drugs Trump has touted as “game-changer” for treatment of the coronavirus.


  1. That isn’t the point, Stan.

    The official was fired because he countered Dear Leader, an incompetent fascist. THAT should worry you because that is no way to run an administration. Ours or any other administration.

  2. Bradley, WHAT is your source “a NIH RECOMMENDED that the drug Trump has touted as a ‘gamechanger’ for treatment of the coronavirus.”?? ALL searches indicate they DO NOT RECOMMEND it.

  3. Can ANYONE find Bradley’s reported NIH’s “recommended” hydroxychloroquine for treatment of coronavirus?? EVERY google search indicated the NIH RECOMMENDED AGAINST the drug Trump and FOX touted as a “cure. ”

    Dr. Fauci, who heads the NIH, has repeated publicly stated there was insufficient evidence to support Trump’s claims of the drug’s effectiveness in treating COVID. The CDC has recommended AGAINST it. Cardiologists have warned that the drug can produce life threatening cardiac arrhythmias!!

    After a month of FOX NON-MEDICAL background talking heads touting the drug, they stopped mentioning it a week ago. In a VA study of 368 pts with 98 receiving the “miracle cure,” had a death rate MORE than double the 158 pts who were NOT given the drug! For those who find 98 of 368 pts insufficient case study, remember Trump and FOX were touting a 6 in 20 pt study.

    I get it that Trumpers do not believe in science and facts, BUT medical advice should not be taken from those who have no training in medicine. Would you take your doctor’s advice on a plumbing problem in your home? Would you ask your dog groomer for legal advice? WHY do people take law school grads advice that is CONTRADICTED by medical professionals? PLEASE Make America SANE Again.

  4. You’re gonna need a bigger rock now since contusion needs to crawl under it with you.

  5. michelle- do you really think readers here are as stupid as you? They KNOW you NEVER back up ANYTHING you post and when you are called out for that, you go run to mommy.

  6. michelle-“This is rich:
    ” QUIT acting like you know crap you have NO CLUE ABOUT. Your laziness about doing your OWN RESEARCH is WELL DOCUMENTED.”

  7. “However, he did his job well enough to keep it” Just so you know contusion, pretty much all you have to do to keep a government job is SHOW UP. Showing up is by no MEANS a comment on how well you DO YOUR JOB. ANOTHER ASININE comment from the galactily stupid.

  8. Talk about the blind leading the blind.michelle- back up your stupid comment. please show just ONCE you did any research instead of repeating something you heard. contusion- just to show how far off you are, there was NO COMEDY in my comments. JUST HOW STUPID are you, really? As far as comedic material, you 2 provide ALL that is needed.

  9. This is rich:
    ” QUIT acting like you know crap you have NO CLUE ABOUT. Your laziness about doing your OWN RESEARCH is WELL DOCUMENTED.”

  10. “YOU have NO CLUE how well this person did his job.” Stan

    Neither do you. However, he did his job well enough to keep it, at least until he went up against the fascist Dear Leader.

  11. contusion-“he gets rid of the COMPETENT administration”. YOU have NO CLUE how well this person did his job. PERIOD. QUIT acting like you know crap you have NO CLUE ABOUT. Your laziness about doing your OWN RESEARCH is WELL DOCUMENTED.

  12. I know the video I posted has nothing to do with anything here. Just reminds me of my 2 children.

  13. Cry baby cry. Make your mother sigh. You’re old enough to know better, so cry, baby cry.

  14. Dear Leader is a dangerous fascist.

    Like the typical fascist, he gets rid of the COMPETENT administration and replaces them with sycophants and lackies. This is what they DO!

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