Rick Bright to join Biden's COVID task force

Nov. 9, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled members of his transition COVID-19 advisory board and it includes Rick Bright, the former BARDA head and Trump administration whistleblower.

Bright, who served as director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development since 2016, was removed from his role in April after criticizing the Trump administration's pandemic response. He was transitioned to a position within the National Institutes of Health. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint in May, claiming he tried to raise internal concerns about the administration's handling of the outbreak, including President Trump's championing of hydroxychloroquine, with Bright saying he was pressured to direct money toward “potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.” In October, Bright resigned completely from the government. 

The new 13-member task force task force will offer guidance to Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their coronavirus staff as they prepare to take over the presidency.

The task force is led by co-chairs Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor at Yale University. Among the other members are Luciana Borio, a physician and public health expert and previously director for medical and biodefense preparedness on Trump’s National Security Council.

Read the press release