President Donald Trump’s message to Americans that they should not live in fear of the coronavirus has been condemned by one of his administration’s former top immunologists as “reckless” and “deadly.”
Trump shortly before his release from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, where he’d been hospitalized for three days receiving treatment for his COVID-19 infection, tweeted that people should not let the virus dominate their lives.
Dr. Rick Bright slammed the president’s messaging on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.” “This is a deadly pandemic. This is a deadly virus,” the scientist reminded anchor Jake Tapper during a lengthy interview.
“The messaging that President Trump gave to America and the world when he left the hospital about there is no need to be afraid of this virus is probably the most reckless and deadly piece of information I have ever heard,” Bright argued.
Bright was ousted from his role as the director of the government’s vaccine-developing Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in March after he blew the whistle on the Trump administration’s initial mishandling of the pandemic.
Moved to the National Institutes of Health, where he worked on the national coronavirus testing program, Bright quit earlier this week in protest of the government’s ongoing botched response to the crisis that has now killed more than 210,000 people nationwide and sickened at least 7 million others.
“From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the administration’s failure to respond with a coordinated strategy only heightened the danger,” Bright wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Nine months into the pandemic, the United States continues to grapple with failed White House leadership.”
Check out the full interview here:
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter