President Donald Trump’s message to Americans that they should not live in fear of the coronavirus has been condemned by one of his administration’s former top immunologists as “reckless” and “deadly.”
Trump, shortly before his return to the White House after three days’ hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment, tweeted that people should not let the virus dominate their lives.
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
Dr. Rick Bright slammed the president’s messaging on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.”
“This is a deadly pandemic. This is a deadly virus,” the scientist reminded anchor Jake Tapper during a lengthy interview.
“The messaging that President Trump gave to America and the world when he left the hospital about there is no need to be afraid of this virus is probably the most reckless and deadly piece of information I have ever heard,” Bright said.
Bright was ousted from his role as the director of the government’s vaccine-developing Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in March after he blew the whistle on the Trump administration’s mishandling of the pandemic.
Moved to the National Institutes of Health, where he worked on the national coronavirus testing program, Bright quit earlier this week in protest of the government’s ongoing botched response to the crisis that has now killed more than 212,000 people nationwide and sickened at least 7 million.
“From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the administration’s failure to respond with a coordinated strategy only heightened the danger,” Bright wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Nine months into the pandemic, the United States continues to grapple with failed White House leadership.”
Check out the full interview here:
"The messaging that President Trump gave to Americans and the world when he left the hospital... is probably the most reckless, deadly piece of information I have ever heard," says Rick Bright, ousted vaccine director who filed a whistleblower complaint. "This virus is deadly." pic.twitter.com/YolnCLgnaP— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) October 8, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.