Representative Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma, toasted the ousted vaccine director Rick Bright on his current job and wondered why he needed medical leave for his high blood pressure now, although he didn’t had no hypertension problems while he was director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Mullin also asked which service is currently paying Bright’s salary.
Here is the exchange:
Mullin: “But if you’ve been on sick leave, you’re too sick to do it, but you can prepare for a two-hour hearing. I find it hard to follow and understand it. If you have hypertension and are too sick to go to NIH but haven’t experienced it in Barta, right? Have you never had hypertension in Barta? “
Brilliant: “I didn’t have the stress level to be removed from my job. It was very stressful.”
Mullin: “I understand that people handle pressure differently. You’re in a pretty stressful position when you’re trying to manage a pandemic, but you can’t manage that, well you can manage that, but you can’t manage your own hypertension because you were fired from the office, but you can still pay NIH, but you can’t show up for work, and you can also prepare for it, but you can’t. “
Bright then confirmed to the chair of the subcommittee, Anna Eshoo, that he was on accumulated annual leave today.
A certain context: HHS today issued a statement that said in part, “Mr. Bright has yet to show up for work, but continues to be paid $ 285,010, while using taxpayer-funded medical leave to work with partisan lawyers who politicize the response to COVID-19. “