(NBC News) Dr. Rick Bright, a top government scientist who would have been leading the U.S. race for a coronavirus vaccine, testified before a House committee Thursday that he was removed from his job for political reasons, and laid out a grim prognosis for the months to come.
Dr. Bright told the committee the Trump administration ignored his dire early warnings in a slow response to the coronavirus crisis.
“Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history,” Dr. Bright said, adding “Time is running out because the virus is still spreading everywhere.”
Dr. Bright says he was transferred out of his role overseeing federal vaccine development after repeatedly warning of critical shortages of medical supplies and resisting efforts to promote the drug hydroxychloroquine, which President Trump has often touted.
“Evidence for its benefit was weak, and the evidence for its safety concerns was stronger,” Dr. Bright said.
Republicans on the committee defended President Trump, claiming the hearing was “undermining the administration during a national and global crisis.”
The president, meanwhile, dismissed Dr. Bright’s testimony, saying “to me he is nothing more than a really unhappy disgruntled person.”
More than 85,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 so far.
Read more: https://nbcnews.to/3cyGRzd
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