Skip to primary navigation Skip to content
April 23, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Expresses Concern Over Reassignment of Health and Human Services Dr. Rick Bright

(Dallas, TX) – Earlier this week, Dr. Rick Bright, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response was removed from his posts and transferred to a lesser role at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bright said his dismissal was ordered in retaliation after he sought to prioritize investments into proven treatments and resisted political pressure to make untested therapies, including the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, widely available to the public as a treatment for COVID-19.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement.

“What Dr. Bright has alleged about the pressure he experienced to pursue technologies and therapies for COVID-19 that lack scientific merit is extremely concerning. As Dr. Bright himself has stated, science must lead the way in combating this pandemic. I support his call for a full investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services into whether political cronyism inappropriately steered scientific decision-making at HHS during the COVID-19 crisis and whether Dr. Bright or any other HHS employees have experienced retaliation for refusing to play along.”