Folks, we got us another whistleblower! And it's, um, well, it's the vaccine chief for the United States government, who has been removed from his position. Like most people fired/reshuffled in the Trump administration, his crime was Too Competent.

Meet Rick Bright, who until five minutes ago was the doctor who ran the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In other words, he was the president of vaccine development for the US government. Bright was removed from his position and parked in a less influential position, he is pretty sure, because he refused to infomercial the unproven and not-very-promising hydroxychloroquine as a snake oil cure for the novel coronavirus. He did this because apparently he loves science more than he loves pretending Donald Trump and Fox News aren't amoral fucking liars.


The statement he released is stunning. Allow us to excerpt it bigly.

Yesterday, I was removed from my position as the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response by the Administration and involuntarily transferred to a more limited and less impactful position at the National Institutes of Health. I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically sound solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science -- not politics or cronyism -- has to lead the way.

Bright explains how his career prepared him for precisely this job, but that he "clash[ed] with HHS political leadership," for his "proactive efforts to invest early in vaccines and supplies critical to saving American lives." He adds:

I also resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.

He puts a fine point on it, in case you didn't know he was talking about hydroxychloroquine, which Trump has been selling as a snake oil cure, Rudy Giuliani has been selling as a snake oil cure, and just about every Fox News host has been selling as a snake oil cure for the past solid month.

Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the Administration as a panacea but which clearly lack scientific merit. While I am prepared to look at all options and to look "outside the box" for effective treatments, I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.

"I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand the the American public," Bright writes, because Fox News and President Mouth Lies wouldn't stop lying to the American people about it. Oh my fucking God, we are confronting a global pandemic with the absolute stupidest people in charge at every level.

Bright mentions the risks of hydroxychloroquine, the ones that Fox News and President Fox News didn't tell people about, like how a recent VA study found "increased mortality" when the drug is given to COVID-19 patients. Oh, just little pesky details like that!

Sidelining me in the middle of this pandemic and placing politics and cronyism ahead of science puts lives at risk and stunts national efforts to safely and effectively address this urgent public health crisis. [...]

Rushing blindly towards unproven drugs can be disastrous and result in countless more deaths. Science, in service to the health and safety of the American people, must always trump politics.

We 100 percent guarantee you Rick Bright fully meant to use the verb "trump" there, and that's why we put it in bold.

Y'all, this is exactly the science person we wanted leading the way to find a cure for COVID-19 behind the scenes. And now he has been quit-fired.

One thing about the messaging from top to bottom, on the unproven method of shoving horse pills of HydroxyBonerCream 3000 down corona patients' throats, was how they all hedged and lied about the (well-known!) risks of the drug (which actually is a good drug, for certain conditions, under certain circumstances, under the proper care of a real doctor). Trump lied and said the drug couldn't possibly hurt you, Fox News lied and said the drug couldn't possibly hurt you, and, sadly, people we know personally who watch too much Fox News parroted that to us. "What do you have to lose?" asked Trump, like he was trying to swindle black voters into supporting him.

Meanwhile over here in the real world, you don't have to Google much further than the American Heart Association to learn that hydroxychloroquine, specifically the cocktail recommended by Doctor President and Doctor Fox News of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, is bold print not recommended for people who have cardiovascular conditions.

Folks like Rick Bright know that without Googling. Oh well, he's fired now.

Rachel Maddow had a fabulous supercut last night of Trump and all the Fox News idiots selling HydroxyBonerCream 3000 to all their idiot viewers every fucking night for the last month, like they were used car salesmen or something. It even has Laura Ingraham saying, "DRUMROLL ... HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE!" in that pompous ass way she speaks when she incorrectly thinks she's pointing out something obvious. (Skip to 1:56, it is fucking hilarious.)

Refer to this video every time your wingnut Uncle Early Bird Buffet tells you Fox News really didn't even talk about HydroxyBonerCream 3000 that much:

Use Of Drug Boosted By Trump, Fox News Not Borne Out By Science | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com

In just the past few days, the VA released results of that study that showed an incidence of increased mortality in coronavirus patients who took the drug cocktail, versus those who did not. You know who is a better science doctor than the scientists studying hydroxychloroquine deaths at the VA? Give up? It's Laura Ingraham, who is clinging to her hydroxybonercut like a Bible or a gun.

Meanwhile, the NIH changed its guidance to say actually there's not enough info to recommend chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to coronavirus patients, and to specifically recommend against the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin cocktail.

You know, just like fucking Rick Bright had apparently been saying behind the scenes for weeks.

Oh well, we're sure Fox News and Donald Trump will debut a new snake oil cure by this evening. Will it be Dr. Oz this time, or will it be Sean Hannity? Laura Ingraham or Lou Dobbs? Judge Box-Wine or Brian Kilmeade?

Like it even fucking matters, once one of 'em starts shilling for the new snake oil, they'll all do it.

And if your Nana takes it and dies — or if she drinks some toilet bowl cleaner with a similar name — well, just add her to the running body count.

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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