Trump Regime Lack of Preparedness for COVID-19 Outbreaks, Demoting HHS Whistleblower

Throughout his tenure, Trump showed indifference toward public health.

His proposed 2020 budget calls for cutting $900 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

It proposes a $17.9 billion cut to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

It includes reduction or elimination of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs that are essential to public health.

If adopted by Congress and signed into law, vital public health programs harmed will include HIV/AIDS special projects, maternal and child health services, rural health services, the EPA, Medicaid and Medicaid, food stamps, initiatives to combat the opioid crisis, along with what’s needed to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

Trump defied reality, falsely claiming his regime’s coronavirus task force is no longer needed, shutting it down at month’s end to focus on restarting the economy.

Pence compounded the deception, saying the action is “a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made” in containing COVID-19 outbreaks, reality much different.

The news came as the CDC and FEMA “forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now,” daily coronavirus deaths to be around 3,000 by June 1, far higher than currently.

According to Trump, things will shift to an unspecified phase 2 response, “something in a different form,” at a time when much of the US is experiencing increased outbreaks.

Last month, infectious disease expert/HHS official Dr. Rick Bright was demoted because of his outspoken early in the year warning about the risk of spreading COVID-19 outbreaks, unpreparedness to contain them, and dangers of using untested drugs like hydroxychloroquine to treat infected patients.

He slammed what he called “cronyism over science,” pressure by former Eli Lilly executive/HHS secretary Alex Azar and other department officials to direct millions of dollars in contracts to Trump regime favorites.

By formal whistleblower complaint to the Office of Special Council, his attorney said the following:

He “encountered indifference which then developed into hostility from HHS leadership, including secretary Azar, as (he) and his (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) staff raised concerns about the virus and the urgent need to act.”

The complaint followed unacceptable Trump regime public health actions and his reassignment to a lower-level National Institutes of Health position.

Throughout Trump’s tenure, Bright was pressured to award regime contracts to companies represented by lobbyists with DLT and Jared Kushner connections.

His opposition to crony capitalism and Trump’s mishandled COVID-19 response led to his demotion in retaliation for speaking out.

The official whistleblower complaint filed on his behalf by attorney Debra Katz highlights the dismissiveness of top HHS officials toward the need to prepare for coronavirus outbreaks in the US, his opposition to using untested drugs sold by Trump regime cronies, and his demotion for sounding the alarm.

The complaint also stressed Bright’s concern about COVID-19’s contagiousness and potentially high mortality rate among vulnerable individuals with weak immune systems.

His concerns about the “urgent need to act” swiftly were ignored. Trump regime hostility toward him grew in response to what he told congressional members and the press.

Reportedly he’s scheduled to give congressional testimony next week.

Will his remarks, likely to be widely reported by anti-Trump establishment media, drive another stake into the heart of his reelection campaign?

His formal complaint stresses “baseless smear campaign (tactics) against him, leveling demonstrably false allegations about his performance in an attempt to justify what was clearly a retaliatory demotion.”

It also calls for investigating his crony capitalism charges and reversing his reassignment to a lower level position.

November presidential and congressional elections are shaping up to be a referendum on Trump’s mishandled COVID-19 public health crisis response and devastating economic collapse, especially the latter.

He faces an uphill struggle for another term in office.

Protracted harder than ever hard times in the run-up to November may be his undoing.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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