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By Jen Hayden
Dr. Rick Bright, the nation's top vaccine doctor, was forced out
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Dr. Rick Bright has been lauded as one of the best and brightest in the world of vaccine development. On Tuesday, healthcare news website Stat News reported Dr. Bright had left his post as the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. That agency is the part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and it is responsible for overseeing the development of vaccines for deadly viruses like COVID-19 and a whole host of other just as potential deadly public health issues like chemical, biological, and nuclear threats.
Dr. Bright's departure right in the midst of a global health crisis certainly raised eyebrows. His entire career has been spent in vaccine development. Stat News said his departure "couldn't have come at a more inopportune time."
Turns out, Dr. Bright was dismissed from his job at the time he was needed the most. All because he pushed for far more rigorous testing of the drug Trump and Fox News were pushing. Dr. Bright's comments are nothing short of alarming:
"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," Dr. Bright said.
In a statement to Maggie Haberman at The New York Times, Bright said, "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."
Dr. Bright did not pull any punches and noted that the Trump administration dismissing him at this critical moment will cost lives. This really is a must-read statement.
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