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The Health Department highlighted its “strong” disagreement with Dr. Richard Bright’s arguments before Congress.
At a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Health, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) former director Richard Bright stressed that the U.S. will experience a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines if President Donald Trump's administration does not take measures immediately to increase the country's drug production capacity.
"There is no company that can produce enough doses for our country or the world. There will be a limited number. We need to create a strategy right now to make sure not only that the vaccine can go forward, but also that it can be produced and distributed fairly," said Dr. Bright, who was abruptly removed by Trump in April when his institution was overseeing research on a vaccine for COVID-19.
Since then, the White House has fostered the "Operation Warp Speed" to produce, distribute, and administer the vaccine once it becomes available.
However, Dr. Bright said that such an initiative will not be effective and raised concerns about the possibility of a safe vaccine will be developed in the immediate future.
"There is a lot of optimism about that within 12 to 18 months, but that will only happen if everything goes perfectly," he said.
The BARDA former director considered that it will not be possible to return to the "normality" that preceded the pandemic and argued that it is necessary to maintain caution to avoid "an unlimited" number of deaths.
Trump lies as he breathes: he WISHES he handled COVID19 like President Obama handled H1N1 ☠️ Obama was inaugurated January 20, 2009, and by April 26, before any deaths, he’d declared a public health emergency. By October, our children received vaccines: https://t.co/NT70WDw7Dg
Dr. Bright's public statements have generated strong controversy in the United States, where the far-right sees him as a traitor to Trump.
Bright says he was fired for raising doubts about an antimalarial drug Trump was promoting as a remedy for coronavirus but whose efficacy has not been proven so far.
On Thursday, Trump took the opportunity to lash out at the scientist through social networks.
" I don't know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him, but to me, he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!,” the US president tweeted.
At the same time, the Health Department issued a statement in which highlighted its “strong” disagreement with Bright’s arguments before Congress.