U.S. BARDA Director Leaves Post Suddenly Amid COVID-19 Pandemic; Media Profiles NIH Scientists Fauci, Collins

STAT: Director of U.S. agency key to vaccine development leaves role suddenly amid coronavirus pandemic
“Rick Bright, one of the nation’s leading vaccine development experts and the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, is no longer leading the organization, officials told STAT. The shakeup at the agency, known as BARDA, couldn’t come at a more inopportune time for the office, which invests in drugs, devices, and other technologies that help address infectious disease outbreaks and which has been at the center of the government’s coronavirus pandemic response. Bright, whose departure was confirmed by three industry sources and two current Trump administration sources, will instead move into a narrower role at the National Institutes of Health. Gary Disbrow, Bright’s former deputy at BARDA, will serve as the acting director of the office, an HHS spokesperson confirmed to STAT…” (Florko, 4/21).

Additional coverage of Bright’s departure from BARDA, as well as reporting on U.S. scientists Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and NIH Director Francis Collins, is available from The Atlantic, The Hill, Reuters, and STAT.

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