Representative Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, has grilled expelled vaccine director Rick Bright on his current job position, and wondered why he now needs medical leave for his hypertension, although he hasn’t had hypertension problems while he was director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Mullin also questioned which department is currently paying Bright’s salary.
Here is the exchange:
Mullin: “But if you’ve been on medical leave you’re too sick to do it but you can prepare for a two-hour audition. I’m struggling to track it down and understand it. If you have hypertension and are too sick to go to NIH but haven’t tried it in Barta, right? Have you ever had problems in Barta with hypertension? “
Bright: “I didn’t have the stress level to be removed from my position. This was very stressful.”
Mullin: “I understand that people handle pressure differently. You are in a rather stressful position when you are trying to manage the pandemic but you cannot manage it, well you can manage it, but you cannot manage your hypertension because you have been removed from the office but you can still receive pay from NIH, but you cannot present yourself for work , and therefore you can also prepare for it, but you cannot do it. “
Bright later confirmed to the subcommittee Anna Eshoo that she is on vacation leave accrued today.
Some context: HHS released a statement today saying in part: “Mr. Bright has not yet shown up for work, but continues to collect his $ 285,010 salary, while using his taxpayer-funded medical leave to work with partisan lawyers who are politicizing. the answer to COVID-19. “
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