13:28 GMT06 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Attorneys for coronavirus whistleblower Rick Bright in a statement on Friday said that the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found there is reasonable evidence their client's firing was retaliatory.

    Bright, who worked in the Trump administration as a vaccine expert, claims he was fired on 20 April after opposing the White House's efforts to promote the use of chloroquine or hydrohycloroquine for COVID-19 treatment despite the lack of scientific merit.

    "Dr. Rick Bright and his attorneys were notified by the Office of Special Counsel that it had determined there were 'reasonable grounds' to believe that Dr. Bright had been subjected to a prohibited personnel practice - i.e., that there was sufficient evidence to believe that his involuntary removal as Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority was retaliatory," the statement said.

    The lawyers said the OSC has requested that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suspend Bright's removal for 45 days in order to allow the OSC to complete its investigation into the matter.

    Earlier this week, Bright requested he be reinstated in his former capacity while the OSC investigates his whistleblower complaint.

    Bright claims in the complaint that in early January he recommended stockpiling N95 respirator face masks, ventilators and testing supplies for COVID-19, and urged rapid development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

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    Tags:
    special counsel, lawyers, retaliation, whistleblower, COVID-19, coronavirus, US
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