The ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine has now resigned from his post at the National Institutes of Health, charging that the Trump administration "ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance and disrespects career scientists."
Rick Bright filed an extensive whistleblower complaint this spring, alleging that his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored and that his caution at hydroxychloroquine led to his removal.
He is now exiting the federal government altogether after being "sidelined" at NIH, his attorneys said in a pointed statement released on Tuesday.
"Although not allowed at NIH to utilize his expertise in vaccines or therapeutics, Dr. Bright developed a plan to implement a robust national testing infrastructure, which emphasized the critical need to provide screening tests for asymptomatic individuals and to provide services to underserved populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19," Bright's attorneys, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, said in a statement.
Bright's exit caps a tumultuous few months since he was ousted from his role leading the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and reassigned to a narrower role at NIH.
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