“Everything he is complaining about was achieved. Everything he talked about was done,” Azar told reporters on Thursday.
Bright, who was in charge of the department charged with developing a coronavirus vaccine, was testifying before a House subcommittee about the federal government’s response to the coronavirus.
In his testimony, Bright warned, “Our window of opportunity is closing … Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history.”
But Azar claimed that the administration took the steps that Bright recommended.
“He says he talked about the need for respirators. We procured respirators under the president’s direction. He said we need a Manhattan project for vaccines. This president initiates a vaccine Manhattan project, diagnostic Manhattan project, therapeutic Manhattan project.”
Watch the video below:
.@SecAzar: "On hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Bright literally signed the application for FDA authorization of it. Literally, he's the sponsor of it."— CSPAN (@cspan) May 14, 2020
President Trump on Dr. Rick Bright: "He looks like an angry, disgruntled employee." pic.twitter.com/IUnY6osr5y
Bright filed a whistleblower complaint that claimed, “HHS leadership pressured Dr. Bright and BARDA to ignore expert recommendations and instead to award lucrative contracts based on political connections and cronyism.”
He also said that contracts were given to “companies with political connections to the administration.” Additionally, he claimed his early warnings about the virus were ignored.
Additionally, he alleged that his removal from his position was due to his decision to limit the use of hydroxychloroquine — which Trump once touted as a “game-changer— as a potential treatment for the virus.
But, Azar claimed that Bright was “the sponsor” of the drug. “So, his allegations do not hold water,” he added.
“I never met Dr. Bright. I don’t know who he is,” Trump told reporters last week after Bright filed his whistleblower complaint.
He added, “And to me, he seems like a disgruntled employee that’s trying to help the Democrats win an election.”