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Federal Doctor Says He Was Removed from Post for Questioning Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine

Federal Doctor Says He Was Removed from Post for Questioning Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine

It was widely reported on April 22 that a doctor who led the federal agency tasked with developing a vaccine against COVID-19 was removed from his post after expressing doubt in the effectiveness and safety of a treatment touted by President Donald Trump.

Dr. Rick Bright was until April 22 the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is working on developing a vaccine against the coronavirus causing COVID-19.

The New York Times reported he was abruptly reassigned to “a narrower job at the National Institutes of Health” after insisting that the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – a drug used to treat patients with lupus, malaria, and other diseases – should be thoroughly investigated before being widely accepted to work against COVID-19.

Dr. Bright’s dismissal came a month after the president’s tweet that hydroxychloroquine was a “game changer” against COVID-19 when taken with azithromycin. Almost immediately, the suggestion drove a swift surge in demand for hydroxychloroquine that came at the expense of lupus patients who suddenly found themselves unable to refill their prescriptions.

Almost as quickly as the demand for hydroxychloroquine exploded did doubt arise from scientists and doctors about its efficacy against COVID-19. Early studies in France and China that demonstrated the drug could be effective against COVID-19 have largely been refuted by the medical and scientific communities, citing problems with the studies and conclusions drawn from their data.

Dr. Bright’s voice was among the voices calling for skeptical inquiry before embracing hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19. After sharply criticizing his transfer as placing “politics and cronyism ahead of science,” Bright said he intended to file a federal whistleblower retaliation complaint.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

Federal whistleblower protections safeguard employees who speak up about unsafe or unlawful business practices. If you speak up about a health and safety matter as a federal government employee and believe you faced an adverse employment action because of it, you may be able to hold your employer legally accountable for unlawful activity. A successful claim can help you restore your employment if you were terminated and receive fair and just compensation for mistreatment.

At Pines Federal, we have more than 50 years of combined experience helping federal employees seek justice when they’ve been unlawfully mistreated at work. If you think you are a victim of an illegal employment action as a result of speaking up against unsafe or unlawful practices at work, we can help you seek justice through fair and just compensation.

Contact Pines Federal online or call (888) 898-9902 to reach our offices and arrange a consultation with an attorney who can help you assert your rights.

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