Ex-BARDA Director Settles Whistleblower Complaint Over Pandemic Response

August 12, 2021

The former director of NIH’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Rick Bright, has settled his whistleblower complaint that he was retaliated against by HHS for pushing for a more robust response in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bright filed the complaint with the Office of Special Counsel in May 2020, charging he was ousted from his position after the Trump administration ignored his warnings about the government’s inadequate pandemic response, including his assertion that distributing the unvetted anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatments was dangerous.

Financial details of the settlement with Bright were not disclosed. 

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