Washington, June 25 (XINHUA) — An administration whistleblower who was ousted from his leadership post during the epidemic said Wednesday that the Trump administration has increased its punishment for revealing shortcomings in the U.S. response to the epidemic.
Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, said in a revised complaint filed with a federal watchdog agency that he was transferred to the National Institutes of Health, demoted, and that his new position prevented him from being a director in the fight against the pandemic.
The indictment also says that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar led a “coordinated effort” to undermine Bright’s tenure, which led to former colleagues shunning the ousted scientist.
The pressure came directly from the top, with President Donald Trump calling Bright an “angry and disgruntled employee” and setting the tone for a campaign to “publicly disparage” and “intimidate” whistleblowers, the complaint said.
Bright is a vaccine expert, the report said.
In his new post at the National Institutes of Health, he was supposed to work on viral diagnostic tests.
But he had “no access to all vaccine research, no access to all therapeutic work, and very limited access to diagnostic work,” the indictment said.