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Capitol Report: Vaccine expert Bright warns coronavirus ‘window of opportunity’ closing as Trump calls for ousting him from government

In testimony prepared for the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, Bright says “our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

Bright has alleged he was reassigned from his role as Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority director because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug favored by Trump as a prospective coronavirus treatment but which is unproven as a remedy for COVID-19.

In a tweet, Trump said Bright “should no longer be working for our government!”

Trump has been anxious for businesses and schools to reopen from lockdowns put in place to stop the spread of the virus. Bright, however, says in his testimony that ignoring science would increase risks of worsening the spread of the virus in the coming months.

In a May 5 complaint, Bright said he wants to be reinstated as BARDA director.

Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, told MarketWatch in an email on Wednesday: “This is a personnel matter that is currently under review. However, HHS strongly disagrees with the allegations and characterizations in the complaint from Dr. Bright.” HHS oversees BARDA.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.50% dropped by more than 300 points Thursday morning as Trump ratcheted up fresh pressure on China and the government reported that another 3 million jobless claims were filed in the latest week.

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