U.S. Still Lacks Sufficient Number of Coronavirus Tests, Ousted HHS Whistleblower Rick Bright Testifies

Rick Bright (left), former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, attends a hearing on the Trump administration’s coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2020. (Erin Scott / Reuters)

Rick Bright, the deposed public health and human services official who testified to Congress on Thursday that the Trump administration was not prepared for the coronavirus pandemic, told lawmakers that the country still does not have enough coronavirus tests.

Representative Debbie Dingell asked Bright to respond to the administration’s claim that anyone who wants to be tested for the corona virus.

“The administration said that anyone who wants a test gets a test. Was that true? asked the Michigan bright Democrat at the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Thursday.

“There are still not enough tests,” said Bright.

“So even this week, as we’re told anyone who wants a test can have a test, is that true in the United States of America?” Dingell insisted.

“No,” Bright replied flatly.

Bright claimed he was fired from his role as Assistant Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after criticizing ‘attempts to promote potentially dangerous drugs promoted by humans with political connections’.

According to Bright, he was subsequently “involuntarily transferred to a more limited and less impactful position at the National Institutes of Health.”

Bright also warned at the hearing that the nation could see “the darkest winter in modern history” without a better response to the pandemic than the actions the government had already taken, which it said “Standard, centralized, coordinated plan.”

The administration’s early attempts at widespread testing have been plagued by logistical problems, as medical test companies admitted they were flooded with backlogs to analyze, forcing patients and doctors to wait for a test. The first test kits distributed by the CDC were faulty, leading to further testing capacity delays that persisted until the virus was already widespread across the country.

Trump rejected Bright’s testimony, saying that he “looks like an angry disgruntled employee who, frankly, has not done a very good job according to some.”

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