Top US vaccine expert ousted for opposing Trump's "game-changer" drug against COVID-19

12:40 PM | 23 Apr, 2020
Top US vaccine expert ousted for opposing Trump's

NEW YORK – The head of the US agency working on developing a vaccine against coronavirus, Dr Rick Bright, has claimed that he was removed from the key position amid the pandemic for opposing chloroquine treatment being promoted by President Donald Trump as a panacea.

The director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority said that he was removed from the position on Tuesday and appointed at a lower position in the National Institutes of Health.

In a statement to US media, Bright said: "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".

The government has taken this step due to his constant resistance to misguided directives about the use of treatments chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus treatment without any scientific evidence.

"While I am prepared to look at all options and to think 'outside the box' for effective treatments, I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public."

Trump has been termed both medicines as “gift of God” and "game-changer" since the mid-March. However, the results, which were revealed on Tuesday, of the US-funded study of hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment has not shown any benefit.

Bright further said: "Sidelining me in the middle of this pandemic and placing politics and cronyism ahead of science puts lives at risk and stunts national efforts to safely and effectively address this urgent public health crisis".