“There is nothing that we know today that would imply that,” Dr. Rick Bright tells “The View”
A former vaccine expert to the Trump administration is shutting down the president’s claim that he is now “immune” to COVID-19, calling the declaration “absolutely not true.”
“The information that we heard from the president today and from his son Eric last night about immunity is just absolutely not true,” immunologist Dr. Rick Bright said Monday on “The View.”
“There is nothing that we know today that would imply that they were immune from this virus [or from] getting infected from this virus again. We don’t even have the full story about his full infection or his level of contagiousness or if he’s even cleared the virus today,” he continued. “It’s this type of misleading inaccurate information that continues to come forth from the president his family and the white house that is leading to the longevity of the pandemic itself.”
Trump, who was released from the hospital earlier this week after being treated for COVID-19, tweeted on Sunday that he is now “immune” to the coronavirus and is unable to spread it to others. “A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!” he wrote, which Twitter has since flagged with a warning label noting that the tweet violates its rules about spreading “misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
Over the weekend, the president hosted another White House event with a masked, but not socially-distanced, crowd.
Last week, Dr. Bright resigned from the National Institute of Health and said the Trump administration “ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance and disrespects career scientists,” according to CNN. A former employee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Bright was called “a disgruntled employee” by Trump back in May.
The former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) director doubled down on his criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus Monday, saying that despite Trump’s claims that he was behind the vaccine from “day one,” the White House did not actually give the go-ahead on the coronavirus vaccine until April.
“I was there on the inside on day one. I know that there was resistance and delays from the White House and from political officials who fund and encourage the development of vaccines early on,” Dr. Bright said. “It actually wasn’t until April 8 or April 10 that the secretary of HHS said maybe we should start urgently making a vaccine.”
Dr. Bright added that he met with Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, at the White House on Feb. 8 to advocate for billions in funding to go towards getting an early start on vaccines, but that his request was ignored.
“We didn’t get that support. The White House wasn’t behind it,” he said. “It wasn’t until April.”
“It is unbearably difficult to speak the truth in this administration,” Bright added. “Whenever anyone in this administration speaks up to tell the truth, to expose the lies… they are ridiculed, pushed aside, ostracized, and called many names.”
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