Health Experts Flanking Trump Perform Rhetorical Contortions To Stay True To Science Without Displeasing President
Some outside experts are concerned that administration scientists must tip-toe around President Donald Trump as they offer their medical expert advice to the American people. Claims from one federal official that he was ousted because he pushed back against Trump's favored treatment did nothing to ease those worrying impressions.
The Associated Press:
Doctors Struggle To Stay True To Science But Not Cross Trump
It’s becoming a kind of daily ritual: President Donald Trump and a phalanx of doctors file into the White House briefing room each evening to discuss the coronavirus, producing a display of rhetorical contortions as the medical officials try to stay true to the science without crossing the president. The result can be a bewildering scene for Americans trying to understand how best to protect themselves from the virus. (Riechmann, Madhani and Lemire, 4/24)
On The Trail: Trump's Demands For Loyalty Extend To Scientists
The Trump administration's decision to sideline one of the government’s top vaccine specialists at the height of a global coronavirus pandemic has shocked scientists and science advocates who say the president is placing a greater value on loyalty to himself than on the facts and data that could save lives. The administration this week forced out Rick Bright, the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and an acting deputy assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for preparedness and response. (Wilson, 4/23)
Why Was A Bureaucrat Part Of Trump's Hydroxychloroquine Authorization?
Rick Bright, an otherwise unknown federal bureaucrat, burst onto the political stage this week with allegations that the Trump White House put politics ahead of science to advance an untested malaria drug as a coronavirus treatment — explosive claims that beg the question: Why was Bright involved in decisions about the drug at all? (Florko, 4/24)
Los Angeles Times:
Scientist Felt Pressured To OK Contract For Work On Drug Trump Touted
The federal scientist recently ousted from a senior position overseeing research on coronavirus vaccines felt pressured by Trump administration officials to award a $21-million contract to a Florida laboratory to study an anti-malaria drug touted by the president as a COVID-19 treatment, according to a person familiar with the incident. Rick Bright, who was abruptly removed this week from his senior post at the Department of Health and Human Services, was told by officials to approve the contract for a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine to Alchem Laboratories, a small drug-development firm, the person said. (Cloud and Healy, 4/23)
Trump Team Wanted 'Nationwide' Access To Malaria Drugs, Ousted Vaccine Chief Claims
The Trump administration pushed for nationwide access to a malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as a Covid-19 treatment “with limited physician oversight,” according to a person familiar with the allegations of Dr. Rick Bright, the HHS vaccine chief who was ousted from his position earlier this week. Bright felt such a move was dangerous and responded by pushing for more clinical trials, the person said, but, under pressure from his superiors in the health department, eventually agreed to sign off on an emergency use authorization that allowed the Trump administration to acquire tens of millions of doses of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and distribute the medicines to some patients hospitalized for Covid-19. (Diamond, 4/23)
Bright's Ouster Shines Light On Months Of HHS Turmoil
Bright's decision to go public is now exposing months of turmoil inside one of the key divisions at the Department of Health and Human Services charged with responding to the coronavirus pandemic. His allegations raise serious questions about political bias creeping into the government's response to the pandemic and the extent to which Trump's preferences for a drug overshadowed its scientific merits. (Diamond, Collins and Hoye, 4/23)