(CN) — The former head of U.S. vaccination efforts against the novel coronavirus brought formal charges Tuesday that blame his firing on the Trump administration’s fixation with an unproven antimalarial drug.
Blowing the whistle on retaliation, censorship and “substantial and specific” dangers to public health and safety, Dr. Rick Bright filed his complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
The leading immunologist was unceremoniously ousted weeks earlier from the role of director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and as deputy assistant secretary for the Health and Human Service’s preparedness division.
“Dr. Bright opposed the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as lacking scientific merit, even though the administration promoted it as a panacea and demanded that New York and New Jersey be ‘flooded’ with these drugs, which were imported from factories in Pakistan and India that had not been inspected by the FDA,” the 57-page whistleblower complaint states.
Bright’s attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks are holding a press conference at 3 p.m. to discuss the complaint they filed with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
When the lawyers suggested that the suit was imminent last month, Health and Human Services quickly mounted a counterattack where it depicted Bright as an advocate for the antimalaria drug he now says has been inappropriately promoted out of politics and cronyism.