Rick Bright: ‘Ousted’ vaccine expert says US is facing its ‘darkest

Photo: Collected

Ousted vaccine director and whistleblower Rick Bright testified for more than three hours before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee.

Bright slammed the Trump administration’s coronavirus response and urged lawmakers to listen to the voices of scientists to prevent “unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

A former top US health official has told Congress the country could face its “darkest winter in modern history” because of the coronavirus.

Rick Bright led the government agency trying to develop a vaccine, but was removed from his post last month, BBC reported.

He has previously said he was ousted from the job for raising concern over a treatment being touted by President Donald Trump.

The US leader dismissed him as a “disgruntled” employee.

Mr Bright also told the House of Representatives subcommittee on health “lives were lost” because of government “inaction” in the early stages of the outbreak.

He said he first spoke out about a medical equipment shortage in January, raising the issue to the “highest levels” of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but “got no response”.

More than 84,000 people have died in the U.S., representing more than one-fourth of global deaths and the world’s highest toll, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On the planet more than 4.3 million have been infected and about 298,000 have died.