CBS, NBC Flock to Whistleblower Complaint Despite Claim Being Debunked

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Almost two weeks ago, the liberal media pounced on claims from a former HHS official who claimed, without evidence, that he was fired for not pushing hydroxychloroquine. Well, that official was back in the news Tuesday because he filed a whistleblower complaint.

But this time, Dr. Rick Bright added on new claims he didn’t tell the press about before now. The CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News gobbled up the allegations despite the fact they made no sense given their previous reporting.

Even though Bright’s initial allegations were proven bogus within hours by Politico’s Dan Diamond, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell and anti-Trump White House correspondent Weijia Jiang glorified Bright, suggesting he was exposing something awful within the Trump administration (click “expand”):

O’DONNELL: And tonight, for the first time, we're getting an inside account of the scramble within the Trump administration as it tried to get a handle on the unfolding pandemic. Today, ousted vaccine expert Rick Bright filed a formal whistleblower complaint, alleging his warnings were ignored. CBS’s Weijia Jiang is traveling with the President in Phoenix. Weijia.

JIANG: Well Norah, Rick Bright’s complaint lays out in detail just how devastating he predicted the coronavirus would be and how he tried to get his superiors to listen.

As if his claims were the biggest story of the day, Jiang decried that “President Trump is not addressing the bombshell report, focusing instead on reopening the country.”

Rhetorically holding up Bright’s complaint as if it was gospel, Jiang read from it. “Bright says he, ‘encountered resistance from HHS leadership, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who appeared intent on downplaying this catastrophic threat.” And that Bright's persistent demands for urgent action had caused an ‘S’ storm,’” she read.

 

 

But according to a previous media-generated scandal, Azar was one of the health officials who’s own early warnings were supposedly falling on Trump’s deaf ears. Bright also claimed Trump adviser Peter Navarro wasn’t taking his warnings seriously in early February. But the media had claimed Navarro was trying to warn Trump in early January.

This makes no sense.

Among Bright’s other never before heard of allegations, Jiang rehashed his original claim: “Bright also says he was reassigned because he resisted officials who wanted to promote hydroxychloroquine and demanded that New York and New Jersey be flooded with these drugs.” Meanwhile, Diamond reported that e-mails exist that prove Bright was the leading voice behind HHS’s acquisition of large quantities of the drug.

Jiang also touted comments from Bright’s lawyers, who she failed to mention also represented Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her lies against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Over on NBC, senior White House correspondent Peter Alexander hyped: “In this new whistleblower complaint obtained by NBC News, Bright says he was retaliated against for resisting efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.” But Alexander never mentioned what political connections there were nor if the complaint proved them.

Alexander also showed his cognitive dissonance when pushing the nonsensical claim about Azar. “Bright's urgent warnings about the need to act, starting in early January, were met with indifference and later hostility from HHS leaders, including Secretary Azar.”

On top of pushing these bogus allegations, Jiang had deceptively edited a video of President Trump to make it seem as though he was disbanding the Coronavirus Task Force with no plan to keep people safe. The first soundbite below is from CBS, the second is from NBC:

TRUMP (sounbite on CBS): Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job. But we're now looking at a little bit of a different form.

TRUMP (soundbite on NBC): Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we're now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening.

Jiang’s hatred for Trump has crippled her ability to be an honest purveyor of the facts.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
May 5, 2020
6:36:21 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: And tonight, for the first time, we're getting an inside account of the scramble within the Trump administration as it tried to get a handle on the unfolding pandemic. Today, ousted vaccine expert Rick Bright filed a formal whistleblower complaint, alleging his warnings were ignored. CBS’s Weijia Jiang is traveling with the President in Phoenix. Weijia.

WEIJIA JIANG: Well Norah, Rick Bright’s complaint lays out in detail just how devastating he predicted the coronavirus would be and how he tried to get his superiors to listen. Tonight, President Trump is not addressing the bombshell report, focusing instead on reopening the country.

[Cuts to video]

On his first big trip in over a month, President Trump ditched social distancing guidelines to greet the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, and later toured a mask production line without wearing one himself.

With governors continuing to complain about a shortage of testing and protective equipment, the Vice President's acknowledgment that the coronavirus task force will be wound down is raising questions. Top health adviser Anthony Fauci told CBS news he was unaware of the plans.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job. But we're now looking at a little bit of a different form.

JIANG: In a new whistleblower complaint, Rick Bright, who was ousted from his job leading the administration's efforts to find a vaccine, claims he warned the White House in January of the crisis that was coming but was ignored.

Bright says he, “encountered resistance from HHS leadership, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who appeared intent on downplaying this catastrophic threat.” And that Bright's persistent demands for urgent action had caused an "S" storm.

Bright also warned in January, the U.S. would need 3.5 billion N95 masks and suggested putting together a disaster leadership group. HHS official [Dr.] Robert Kadlec, whom Bright accuses of gross mismanagement, says that's appropriate but not sure if that is a time-sensitive urgency.

One of the 50 attachments to complaint is a February 9 memo from Trump adviser Peter Navarro warning of a serious pandemic that could extend well into next year, and called for halting the export of N95 masks and buying all existing doses of Remdesivir.

Bright also says he was reassigned because he resisted officials who wanted to promote hydroxychloroquine and demanded that New York and New Jersey be flooded with these drugs. The President has claimed he didn't know about Bright.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He said he was retaliated against because he refuse told promote hydroxychloroquine.

TRUMP: I don't think anything about it.

JIANG: Bright's attorney, Deborah Katz, said her client believed he had a moral obligation to speak up.

DEBORAH KATZ: With respect to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, he just decided he could no longer remain silent.

[Cuts back to live]

JIANG: CBS News has learned Bright has agreed to testify on Capitol Hill next week, and he hopes to get his old job back. Tonight, an HHS official says that he was transferred to a critical role at NIH, and they are disappointed he hasn't shown up for work. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Weijia, thank you.

 

NBC Nightly News
May 5, 2020
7:15:55 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Back now with the whistleblower complaint revealed from a vaccine director who says he was ousted for questioning an unproven treatment touted by President Trump. Here's Peter Alexander.

[Cuts to video]

PETER ALEXANDER: Tonight, as President Trump hits the road for the first time in more than five weeks touring a factory in Arizona that's now producing N95 masks, he's also winding down the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The Vice President saying it could happen around Memorial Day.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we're now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening.

ALEXANDER: The decision announced even as the death toll climbs past 70,000 and new projections, disputed by the President, show easing restrictions could lead to tens of thousands of lives lost.

It comes as Dr. Rick Bright, the federal scientist who was recently forced out as head of the agency involved in developing a vaccine for the virus, is speaking out for the first time.

In this new whistleblower complaint obtained by NBC News, Bright says he was retaliated against for resisting efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections. A reference to hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that the President has repeatedly promoted.

DR. RICK BRIGHT: Time after time, I was pressured to ignore or dismiss expert and scientific recommendations. And instead, to award lucrative contracts based on political connection. In other words, I was pressured to let politics and cronyism drive decisions.

ALEXANDER: The complaint also accuses the Health and Human Services Department of being slow to react to the initial threat, saying Bright's urgent warnings about the need to act, starting in early January, were met with indifference and later hostility from HHS leaders, including Secretary Azar.

BRIGHT: It is inappropriate to place dedicated scientists in cross hairs.

[Cuts to video]

ALEXANDER: HHS says Dr. Bright was transferred to a position at the National Institutes of Health to work on testing. And late tonight, in a statement, HHS says it's "deeply disappointed” that he has not shown up to that job. Lester?

HOLT: All right, Peter Alexander, thanks.

NB Daily Government Agencies Health Care Coronavirus Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Norah O'Donnell Weijia Jiang Peter Alexander Donald Trump