Thursday, April 23, 2020

Expelling The Experts

I've wondered openly why Donald Trump hasn't fired Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx, the two medical experts often seen at Trump's press conferences, and it's because Birx is willing to placate Trump, and Fauci is a 30-year veteran and firing him would be too much of a stretch for even Mitch McConnell to support.

However, given Trump's nearly infinite capacity for petty vengeance, it doesn't mean other, less visible medical experts haven't been let go.

The doctor who led the federal agency involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine said on Wednesday that he was removed from his post after he pressed for a rigorous vetting of a coronavirus treatment embraced by President Trump. The doctor said that science, not “politics and cronyism,” must lead the way.

Dr. Rick Bright was abruptly dismissed this week as the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, and as the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

Instead, he was given a narrower job 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 vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” he said in a statement to The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman.

“I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way,” he said.
The White House declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Alex Azar, the health and human services secretary, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The medical publication Stat reported on Tuesday that Dr. Bright had clashed with Bob Kadlec, the assistant health secretary for preparedness and response.

Dr. Bright, who noted that his entire career had been spent in vaccine development both in and outside of government, has led BARDA since 2016.

In the statement, he said: “My professional background has prepared me for a moment like this — to confront and defeat a deadly virus that threatens Americans and people around the globe. To this point, I have led the government’s efforts to invest in the best science available to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, this resulted in clashes with H.H.S. political leadership, including criticism for my proactive efforts to invest early into vaccines and supplies critical to saving American lives,” he said. “I also resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.”

Dr. Bright, who is a career official, pointed specifically to the initial efforts to make chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine widely available before it was scientifically tested for efficacy with the coronavirus.

“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,” he said.

Since the corrupt Trump regime purchased 29 million doses of the drugs, boosting the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies that undoubtedly several regime members have stock in, Dr. Bright had to go, as Trump needed somebody's head to serve as a warning.

As Rebecca Sugar once commented about her Cartoon Network show Steven Universe, when the network agreed to do special PSA programming about standing up to bullying using the show's characters a few years ago, "the difference between interpersonal conflict and being a bully is that a bully only wants to hurt people."

It's an important lesson, and it explains the man in the Oval Office very well.  When somebody disagrees with Trump, he doesn't want conflict resolution, he doesn't want to improve on his viewpoints or learn anything new, he only wants to cause them pain.

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