Your New Science Boyfriend Rick Bright Has Some Things To Say To Congress. A Liveblog!
Time for a ZOOM-CHATTIN' WITH CONGRESS session!
Today, we are liveblogging Dr. Rick Bright, the fired HHS whistleblower who used to head the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) — in other words, he was America's very qualified vaccine chief. In other other words, he is your new science boyfriend.
His whistleblower complaint was stunning, his opening statement to Congress, which we read yesterday, was stunning. Today he talks to Congress live, about the Trump administration's constant coronavirus fuckups.
Click those links if you need to catch yourself up.
Live: Dr. Bright Testifies at House Hearing on Coronavirus Response | NBC News www.youtube.com
10:04: Oh huh, Bright is actually testifying live and in person. SHOULDN'T EVERYBODY BE ZOOMING?
Grandpa the Clown has thoughts.
Anyway, the hearing is starting. The committee chair and ranking member will talk, and then Bright will give his opening statement.
10:10: The chair of this House subcommittee is Anna Eshoo, and the Republican idiot is Michael Burgess of Texas. He is currently whining that there are not any name-plates at the table identifying who is there, and Anna Eshoo does not know why are not there either, CAN WE GET SOME NAME-PLATES IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS?
10:14: It would appear that Michael Burgess would like to whine about the process of Anna Eshoo calling this hearing today, accusing Eshoo of trampling on "minority rights" (of the Republicans, we are not saying he is not a Republican who actually cares about minorities, does that even exist? LOL).
Anyway, he's whining. But he's not like a screamy Jim Jordan or Matt Gaetz-style whiner, so it's not theatrical.
10:18: Eshoo calmly explaining to Burgess that he is an idiot, and that if he will recall, she has been trying to throw hearings on coronavirus issues for months now, but Trump's shitty HHS has made that difficult.
Now Frank Pallone, chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, is doing an opening statement. So many opening statements!
10:26: Oh fun, Republicans are going to be dumb idiots about this! The ranking member of the full committee, Greg Walden, would like to complain that Rick Bright has his private lawyer present, even though he is currently a federal employee (he was fired and shunted over to a fake position at the National Institutes of Health, which he hasn't started). He is mad Bright's lawyer has a microphone.
Still not screamy like Jim Jordan, Wonkette likes our Republicans screamy.
10:30: GOP Congressman Larry Bucshon is going to be mad now because Bright is not going to be under oath, PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY! Anna Eshoo reminds people that they don't do that in their committee, but all witnesses know it is a CRIME to lie to Congress.
(You dumb idiot.)
And now opening statement from Greg Walden, Jesus, so many opening statements.
10:34: OK now, 300 minutes into the hearing, it is time for Rick Bright to do his opening statement.
Meanwhile at the adult daycare:
Bright's opening statement, again, is here.
10:40: Questioning begins!
Anna Eshoo asks why Bright said 2020 will be the "darkest winter in American history" if we don't get our shit together, and what we can do to make it Not That. Bright says you have to balance economy and science, and in a very nice way says, well, um, we have to get our shit together, because it is not together.
ESHOO: Has coronavirus response been SUCCESS or FAILURE?
BRIGHT: Let's call it room for growth.
10:45: Bright reminds us of the thing from his whistleblower complaint, where he explained that when he was raising all these warnings back in January about what was coming with coronavirus, it caused a "commotion" and made Trump idiots mad, so they kicked him out of the coronavirus meetings.
Michael Burgess, Republican idiot ranking member, would like to argue with the vaccine doc now about hydroxychloroquine. Maybe it will get good now?
10:50: Burgess reminds Bright that he signed the letter asking for the emergency use authorization for hydroxybonercut 3000. Bright reminds Burgess that according to his whistleblower complaint, they really kinda fuckin' forced him too.
Anyway, Burgess says hydroxychloroquine is awesome, and Bright says hey maybe it is, but we haven't actually studied that in a correct SCIENCE WAY, and so far it looks like Congressman Burgess is full of shit.
But Burgess has been hearing from these doctors! They all say they love Fen-Phen, or whatever drug we are talking about!
10:57: CONGRESSMAN FRANK PALLONE: Even if they come up with a vaccine, is it fair to say that we should be worried the Trump administration is going to fuck up delivering that just like they fucked up delivering PPE?
BRIGHT: Oh shit yeah.
11:04: CONGRESSMAN ELIOT ENGEL: If you were in Las Vegas at a casino, how long would you make a bet it'll be until we have a vaccine?
BRIGHT: I don't do bets! I am a science guy! But 12-18 months is a pipe dream, sooooooooorrrrrrry.
11:09: Republican idiot Brett Guthrie of Kentucky talking right now. We are disappointed none of these Republicans have tried to argue with Dr. Bright about how Lysol IS TOO a good way to clean coronavirus out of your lungs.
Where is Louie Gohmert, he on this committee?
(He is not.)
11:13: Guthrie is mostly upset that he doesn't have the full email chains to look at from Dr. Bright, just to make sure he is not missing important context that might make Trump idiots look better. Bright and his lawyer explain that Congress has everything they have, and they will do a double-check just to be sure, but they remind Guthrie that Bright got locked out of his full email when they fired him. So maybe you should ask Trump's idiot HHS!
11:18: This hearing is entirely too calm and collected, is Congress sick?
Oh well, here is a moving picture of a cat, just to pizzazz up this joint a little bit.
cat fail falling GIF Giphy
11:22: GOP Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia says if you don't have therapeutics available for coronavirus, why don't you just throatcram everybody with whatever drugs you find in the cabinet just to see what happens? IS THAT NOT SCIENCE? (He didn't say it that stupidly, to be entirely fair.)
GRIFFITH: How is it bad if Hydroxybonercut 3000 gives you an irregular heartbeat, because if you die of coronavirus DO YOU EVEN HAVE A HEARTBEAT?
BRIGHT: That is not how this all works.
Here is a close-up of Morgan Griffith's face, from his official photo.
11:26: DEMOCRATIC REP. DORIS MATSUI: So our testing regime sucks, yeah? Are the Trump administration's fuckups in getting virus samples to start vaccine development, did that shorten or lengthen our ability to reopen the country? And what about the fuckups with PPE? And what about all the other fuckups? Shorten or lengthen our time for reopening?
11:30: MATSUI: Would it have been GOOD or BAD if the Trump administration had actually gotten its shit together on PPE before like April?
BRIGHT: Good, it would have been good.
Now GOP Rep. Gus Bilirakis would like to talk about Hydroxybonercut 3000, because Republicans are just really into that drug.
11:34: BILIRAKIS: Have you heard these science facts I learned on Fox News about what's the best time to throatcram people's bodies with Hydroxybonercut 3000?
BRIGHT: No I read about real science.
11:38: Gus Bilirakis heard about a guy somewhere, a veteran maybe, who was cured of coronavirus by Hydroxybonercut 3000. ARGUE WITH THAT SCIENCE, SCIENCE BOY.
11:43: DEMOCRATIC REP. KATHY CASTOR: Would a bunch of people not be dead today if HHS hadn't ignored all your warnings about PPE shortages?
BRIGHT: Sadly, yes.
Now it is time for GOP Rep. Larry Bucshon of Indiana, who is talking to all these doctors who say Hydroxybonercut 3000 cures coronavirus and also itchy nipples and erectile dysfunction probably. Why wouldn't it? Hydroxybonercut 3000 is MAGIC!
11:52: DEMOCRATIC REP. JOHN SARBANES: Tell me about a time you got literally sick to your stomach in January when you realized how bad the Trump administration was going to fuck this up.
BRIGHT: This email I got about upcoming PPE shortages where they said "we are in DEEP SHIT," that's right, Dr. Bright said the "shit" cuss in Congress!
12:02: GOP Rep. Susan Brooks lays out a whole bunch of receipts about how people have been working on this PPE issue just forever (read: DURING OBAMA) and made plans to address shortages and whatnot, and her point is this isn't just Trump's fuckup blah blah blah.
Bright responds that yes, they did all create plans for these things, and he was part of it! It would have been nice if somebody had pulled out all those plans in January or so, but they did not, HUH.
Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján takes over, to get Rick Bright on the record about some of the very well known problems with Hydroxybonercut 3000, Trump's favorite malaria drug, which Republicans are pretty sure also cures most knee inflammations and also pink eye, we think maybe?
12:06: Luján asks if Donald Trump's weird obsession with Hydroxyboner 3000 distract Bright and his colleagues from literally saving lives, developing vaccines and whatnot? Bright says no shit, y'all.
12:08: Luján asks if Trump is doing everything he can to prevent "the darkest winter in modern history." Bright reads out a laundry of list of things we still don't have a fucking plan for, like for instance TESTING?
12:10: Wingnut Rep. Markwayne Mullin -- shut up, that is too a real name -- would like to see Rick Bright's most recent pay stubs, puh-leeze?
12:12: Seriously, Markwayne Mullin is whining about how Dr. Bright is on medical leave for hypertension but yet also here talking to Congress and saying Trump is bad. And just accused Bright of maybe doing something to "deceive" the American people.
12:15: It took a couple hours, but the Republicans have finally decided to take this hearing to full-on DumbfuckTown, hooray!
12:19: Remember that part of the whistleblower complaint where White House trade idiot Peter Navarro was the hero (LOL "hero") because he was the only one in the White House willing to listen to Dr. Bright? Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader quoted Bright saying "we're in deep shit" and asked how much more deep shit we'd be in if Peter Navarro hadn't been the hero (LOL "hero")? Bright says MOAR DEEP SHIT.
12:23: Dumbfuck North Carolina GOP Rep. Richard Hudson says whistleblowers are great, but this is a BAD whistleblower hearing in the WRONG committee and he talked to an EYE DOCTOR in his district who can't even do EYE STUFF right now because we guess people are being real weenuses about her BREATHING CORONAVIRUS INTO THEIR EYEBALLS and this hearing SUCKS and is just about HURTING DEAR LEADER, UNFAIR.
12:28: HUDSON: Dr. Bright, why did you LOVE Hydroxybonercut 3000 before you were AGIN' IT? I got some SCREENSHOTS right here!
BRIGHT: When I found out about all the problems and that they were getting them from crap manufacturers we couldn't inspect in Pakistan and India? And then I changed my mind, like a common scientist?
And MSNBC cuts away from the hearing, Andrea Mitchell like "OK bored now."
12:35: OK kids, we are making like a common Andrea Mitchell and saying fuck this. The hearing is very good and interesting but there is soooooooo much news, and we need to write some of it. We think we got the gist from Dr. Bright, though! Trump is full of shit, when Trump dawdles, people die, and oh yeah, he pissed on the magical thinking of a vaccine in 12-18 months.
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