White House braces for more devastating testimony from coronavirus scientist whistleblower who said he was pressured to extend one pharma contract because the CEO was a friend of Jared Kushner

The whistleblower scientist who claimed he was demoted after sounding the alarm on the Trump-touted COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine, also said he was pressured to extend a contract because the CEO was Jared Kushner's friend. 
Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, wrote in his 89-page whistleblower report that he 'repeatedly clashed' with his boss, Dr. Robert Kadlec, about the 'outsized role' played by pharmaceutical lobbyist John Clerici. 
Clerici dangled the Kushner connection in a sit-down they had on August 29, 2017, in the early months of the Trump administration, Bright wrote.  
Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, wrote in a whistleblower complaint that his boss allowed pharmaceutical lobbyist John Clerici to play an 'outsized' role in awarding government contracts
Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, wrote in a whistleblower complaint that his boss allowed pharmaceutical lobbyist John Clerici to play an 'outsized' role in awarding government contracts
Dr. Rick Bright recalled a meeting with pharmaceutical lobbyist John Clerici (pictured) in August 2017, when Clerici was trying to get a contract for his client Aeolus Pharmaceuticals extended
Dr. Rick Bright recalled a meeting with pharmaceutical lobbyist John Clerici (pictured) in August 2017, when Clerici was trying to get a contract for his client Aeolus Pharmaceuticals extended
John Clerici told Dr. Rick Bright that the CEO of Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, John McManus, is 'friends with Jared [Kushner]' and 'has Hollywood connections,' Bright recalled in his whistleblower complaint saying the conversation left him 'uncomfortable'
John Clerici told Dr. Rick Bright that the CEO of Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, John McManus, is 'friends with Jared [Kushner]' and 'has Hollywood connections,' Bright recalled in his whistleblower complaint saying the conversation left him 'uncomfortable'  
Earlier in the month the Senate had confirmed Bright's new boss, Kadlec, for the position of assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response.
 He would be running the office that goes by the acronym ASPR. 
Dr. Rick Bright wrote that he was pressured to extend a government contract to Aeolus Pharmaceuticals because the then-CEO John McManus (pictured) was a friend of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law
Dr. Rick Bright wrote that he was pressured to extend a government contract to Aeolus Pharmaceuticals because the then-CEO John McManus (pictured) was a friend of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law 
BARDA, which Bright was in charge of, falls under ASPR in the department of Health and Human Services' hierarchy. 
That summer, the complaint reads, Bright 'objected to the efforts' of ASPR staff and Clerici, the lobbyist, to extend a contract with Clerici's client Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, after an in-person review by the government determined it should be allowed to expire without further funding. 
Bright had coffee with Clerici on August 29 and recalled the lobbyist suggesting that BARDA's review process for contracts was not always 'fair.' 
Clerici also mentioned that 'some of these CEOs are high maintenance,' before referring specifically to Aeolus' CEO John McManus.
Bright was set to meet with McManus the next day. 
Bright wrote in the report that Clerici told him, 'McManus is a wildcard, and he is the kind of person who would write stories about you for the newspapers.' 
Clerici also told the government scientist that McManus is 'friends with Jared [Kushner]' and 'has Hollywood connections.' 
In the whistleblower complaint Bright wrote that Clerici 'who has no formal scientific or medical training' then promoted a particular chemical in pharmaceutical drugs. 
Bright wrote that he suspected that chemical was likely related to the Aeolus contract and after the meeting confirmed that to be true. 
Bright said he 'became uncomfortable' with the direction of the meeting and ended it.  
'It became clear to Dr. Bright that Mr. Clerici had been laying the groundwork for Mr. McManus to advocate that BARDA either revisit its prior decision about ending the Aeolus contract, or find a way for Aeolus to access the millions of unused contract dollars for a different project,' Bright's complaint said. 

Bright filed the whistleblower complaint Tuesday with the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates if federal employees were retaliated against for exposing problems. 
He's due on Capitol Hill on May 13 to testify before the House's subcommittee on Health. 
His broader complaint was that he was moved from leading BARDA to an unspecified role at the National Institutes of Health after he refused to rubber stamp the use of hydroxychloroquine and its sister drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19. 
President Trump had been talking up hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine - on the market to fight Malaria, but with some severe side-effects - for weeks as the coronavirus killed tens of thousands of Americans and with no solid treatment nor vaccine developed yet. 
Bright accused the Trump administration of wanting to 'flood' hot spots like New York and New Jersey with untested drugs.  
'I witnessed government leadership rushing blindly into a potentially dangerous situation by bringing in a non-FDA approved chloroquine from Pakistan and India, from facilities that had never been approved by the FDA,' Bright told reporters Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. 'Their eagerness to push blindly forward without sufficient data to put this drug into the hands of Americans was alarming to me and my fellow scientists.' 

White House braces for more devastating testimony from coronavirus scientist whistleblower who said he was pressured to extend one pharma contract because the CEO was a friend of Jared Kushner White House braces for more devastating testimony from coronavirus scientist whistleblower who said he was pressured to extend one pharma contract because the CEO was a friend of Jared Kushner Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:50 Rating: 5

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