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Pascrell Praises Call for Reinstatement of Dr. Bright

Vaccines expert had been removed for refusing to promote unproven drugs

Paterson, NJ, May 8, 2020

PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today praised calls by the Office of Special Counsel recommending the reinstatement of Dr. Rick Bright, the former Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, who was abruptly dismissed last month after he actively resisted pressure from the Trump administration to promote unproven and possibly dangerous medical therapies to treat COVID-19.

“This leaves no doubt that Dr. Bright should be reinstated to BARDA. Dr. Bright’s reinstatement would be a welcome move that can only help America in the fight against COVID-19,” said Rep. Pascrell, who has been sounding the alarm in Congress about politicization in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Scientists and doctors must be dictating our response every day, not partisan appointees and hacks. Science, and only science is our only way through. A virus will not be beaten by miracle drugs or political coverups. And we still need a full investigation of what happened here that addresses Dr. Bright’s damning allegations of corruption. The broader pattern of dangerous political interference in medical decisions endemic within this government is endangering countless Americans’ lives.”

On April 8, Rep. Pascrell and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) wrote to the commissioner of the FDA regarding the FDA’s emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as well as the approval for a clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for the treatment of COVID-19. On April 27, Pascrell and Menendez wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General calling for an investigation of the FDA to determine if its decision-making process has been compromised by political pressure to promote unproven therapies to treat COVID-19. A recent large analysis of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients in U.S. veterans’ hospitals showed no benefit and even noted that there were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care.

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