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Dr. Richard Bright: "Met With Indifferences" When I Warned Of PPE Shortage In January Got A Number Of Excuses, But Never Any Action; Dr. Richard Bright: "Without Better Planning, 2020 Could Be The Darkest Winter In Modern History"; Dr. Richard Bright: "I Was Quite Alarmed" To Learn National Stockpile Didn't Include Enough Testing Equipment & Supplies; Dr. Richard Bright: "I Was Told That My Urgings Were Causing A Commotion, And I Was Removed From Those Meetings"; Dr. Richard Bright: "Time Is Running Out" With Virus Spreading Everywhere. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired May 14, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. BROOKS INDIANA (R-IN): And how about FEMCY? Does BARDA participate in FEMCY? And would you please very, very briefly, because my time is limited, would explain what FEMCY is?
This is a plan that experts like yourselves participate in so I want the American people to know there have been plans, there have been plans that FEMCY had forth 2017/18 Implementation Plan the White House put forth the in September of 2018 a National Bio Defense Plan. Many said it was kind of landmark and same thing with FEMCY putting forth many plans.
So, I want the American people to know a lot of folks over a long period of time have been focused but yet we did not still have enough. We didn't have enough swabs. We didn't have enough masks. We don't have enough gowns for all those incredible health care providers.
So, I don't want everyone to be given the impression that you raise the flag just in January, okay when you saw it was short because you hadn't gotten the job done prior to January. And you were at those tables as where so many others.
This what happened over a very, very long period of time and those of us have been very disappointed to learn what was and was not in the strategic national stockpile? I thank you for your service. I thank you for your expertise but across the board over many administrations we did not do enough. And I yield back.
REP. ANNA ESHOO (D-CA): Do you want to respond Doctor?
DR. RICK BRIGHT, FORMER DIRECTOR OF BIOMEDICAL ADVANCED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: I can say that those plans have been in place and it is disappointing that they were not pulled out in January of this year and followed. They were not put on the table with a strong leader indicating these are our plans, everyone fall in line and follow through with this plan. I can also - I think it's important to emphasize that FEMCY is a Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise which team comprised of many great scientists from across our government to put these plans in place.
But since 2017 we have largely disbanded and dismantled that FEMCY Organization. We have not had those inter agency discussions for a number of years. The Executive Enterprise Committee and Executive Leadership Committee we may have had one or two meetings at most in a new restructured or reorganized FEMCY Organization.
So the partners and colleagues across government haven't had those unused to even talk or coordinator for a number of years to understand what that plan looks like and how they would work together to implement that plan when the day came to need it?
ESHOO: Okay. The gentlewoman's time has expired and she's yielded back. Pleasure to recognize the gentleman from New Mexico Mr. Lujan for your five minutes of questions.
REP. BEN RAY LUJAN (D-NM): Thank you madam Chair. Dr. Bright you've described pressure from senior Trump Administration officials to promote the Malaria drug Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 despite the lack of scientific support for this treatment.
According to your - they are offered to donate Chloroquine pills to the strategic national stockpile on March 17. Your team of experts at HHS determines that "There are safety liabilities associated with the drug" "And that quote accepting the donation could lead to widespread use that is not supported by any clinical data"
Further one of the public health experts advising you said "No data available to support that Chloroquine provides clinical benefit to the treatment or prevention of COVID-19" Yes or no Doctor Bright, are there safety liabilities associated with Chloroquine?
BRIGHT: There are yes.
LUJAN: According to your whistleblower complaint at the time of the bear offered the content is from BARDA and FDA scientists was that it was advisable to wait for additional clinical data before making any recommendations on the use of Chloroquine to treat COVID-19, is that correct yes or no?
BRIGHT: That is correct.
LUJAN: Yet on March 19th the bear move forward and announced the donation of Chloroquine and President Trump told the country at a White House press conference that the drug had "Shown very, very encouraging early results" Yes or no was the President's statement accurate?
BRIGHT: I do not think that was the best-informed statement.
LUJAN: In that press conference the President also said that the drug had "Been around for a long time so we know things don't go as planned it's not going to kill anybody" Yes or no is that statement accurate?
BRIGHT: Dry had been around a long time for his use of malaria, but it had not been around for a long time for issues in COVID-19 patients. That's a different indication, different clinical outcome and the drug can behave differently in those people.
LUJAN: Yes or no, is it true that within days of that press conference you received urgent instructions from HHS General Counsel passed from the White House directing you to obtain the authorization necessary to make the drugs widely available to the public?
BRIGHT: That's true.
LUJAN: Yes or no did the pressure from the White House and HHS General Counsel put you in a difficult position.
LUJAN: And how did you handle this pressure while still trying to protect the American people?
BRIGHT: We had to come up with the ultimate solution that, that our administration would except.
LUJAN: Yes or no, did the administration respect this compromise?
BRIGHT: I think - eventually the emergency use authorization option was accepted by Dr. Kadlec and the administration yes.
LUJAN: But I'm aware of and I would agree with that that the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Gloria her on April 4 said this compromise "Matters not" and that the drug needed to go to pharmacies as well as hospitals.
Dr. Bright there only 24 hours in a day and every hour you and your team had to spend on Chloroquine is an hour you couldn't work on fighting this virus. Yes or no do the President's obsession with this issue distracts you and others on your team from your mission of saving lives?
BRIGHT: The directive we received to prioritize and put an expanded access protocol in place within 48 hours was extremely distracting to dozens of federal scientists who were focused on the Coronavirus outbreak. They had to set aside all other work to try to put together this protocol in the 48 hour directed time period.
LUJAN: Yes or no, did it distract from efforts to prepare for this crisis including securing PPE and wrapping up testing and the production of other essential supplies?
BRIGHT: it distracted from their efforts in developing other vaccines and drugs and that they were focused on at that time is a different group of individuals who are focused on procuring PPE. LUJAN: Dr. Bright just yesterday the President questioned the testimony of Dr. Fauci when discussing children and schools. The President insisted that "It has very, very little impact on young people". Dr. Bright yes or no, do we know that the President's statement is accurate?
BRIGHT: There's a lot we don't yet know about this virus and is really concerning over the last few weeks that we're getting more and more data out of New York and other places where they have high numbers of infections.
The impact of this virus in children is very different presentation and outcome in children that we see in adults and is very concerning and we don't yet have an answer for that. But we should proceed very cautiously and not have any hope or knowledge that we know everything about this virus.
LUJAN: Dr. Bright, I want to end by quoting your testimony "Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts were outlying 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history, the darkest winter in modern history" Yes or no, do you believe this administration is doing everything it can to prevent the darkest winter and what more should they be doing?
BRIGHT: I believe there's a lot of work that we still need to do. And I think we need still I don't think I know we need still a comprehensive plan and everyone across the government and everyone in America needs to know what that plan is and what role they play?
They are critical steps that we need to do to prepare for that fall for that winter coming. We do not still have enough personal protective equipment to manage our health care workers and protect them from influenza and COVID-19. We still do not have the supply chains ramped up for the drugs and vaccines.
We still don't have plans in place how we distribute those drugs and vaccines. And we still do not have a comprehensive testing strategy. So Americans know which test to what? What to do with that information and we know how to find this virus and trap it and kill it? So there's a lot of work we still have to do.
ESHOO: Gentleman yields back. Pleasure to recognize the gentleman from Oklahoma Mr. Mullin for his five minutes of questions.
REP. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): Thank you Madam Chair and I'd be remiss not to thank you for your continued prayers for my son. That's very kind of you and I really appreciate it.
Dr. Bright, you're here on your own time as individual is that correct?
BRIGHT: That's correct, yes.
MULLIN: Where are you currently employed.
BRIGHT: I'm currently an employee of the Department of Human Services. And I'm in the middle of a transition I guess you'd say between BARDA and NIH.
MULLIN: So you've accepted their reassigned position NIH?
BRIGHT: That except that this position is under discussion at this point. I have not yet accepted that role.
MULLIN: So where are you currently being paid?
BRIGHT: I'm currently being paid.
MULLIN: Where are you being paid from out of BARDA or from NIH?
BRIGHT: Is not completely clear to me but I believe it's out of NIH.
MULLIN: So are you getting a paycheck since you've been - you've been over there since mid April right? Is that correct?
BRIGHT: There's only - I've received one paycheck sir--
MULLIN: Where from NIH?
BRIGHT: --ending. I think it was still part of BARDA and part NIH. I've had discussions about my on-boarding - in NIH.
MULLIN: So are you at BARDA you made 285,000 are that correct?
BRIGHT: That's true.
MULLIN: So how much you currently make in NIH?
BRIGHT: I don't think my salary has changed.
MULLIN: It's still the same.
MULLIN: So you you've been over there for approximately four weeks a month?
BRIGHT: It has been about three weeks since I was removed my office sir at BARDA.
MULLIN: So have you reported to NIH?
BRIGHT: I've checked in with the NIH Director's Office and we have discussed the on-boarding process, the fingerprinting process. And we had a call it just last evening to discuss a framework of my responsibilities that they have envisioned for me at NIH.
MULLIN: So you haven't actually reported to work but you're still getting paid correct?
BRIGHT: I've been on sick leave since I was pushed out of my position at BARDA.
MULLIN: Sick leave for what? BRIGHT: For very high blood pressure and I've been under treatment from my position.
MULLIN: Or hypertension?
BRIGHT: Hypertension, sir yes.
MULLIN: So you're on medical leave?
BRIGHT: I've been on medical leave this week however I transition from that medical leave to annual leave. So I can manage this--
MULLIN: What is annual leave? What do you mean?
BRIGHT: It is vacation time.
MULLIN: So you're on vacation time right now?
BRIGHT: I'm on vacation--
MULLIN: Did you inform your supervisors about you coming here today or did you need to do that?
BRIGHT: I have informed them about my leave status and I've had a conversation with them last night.
MULLIN: So you transferred from medical leave to vacation this week or the start next week?
BRIGHT: I had a conversation with my physician about my hypertension and how we've been managing it over the last three weeks because this has been very stressful to be removed suddenly without explanation for my role and position. It is a life change for me. And my physician has been working very closely with me to manage my hypertension and stress. And the conversation I had with him last night indicated.
MULLIN: I guess I'm kind of confused because you say you have hypertension but yet you're able to do these interviews. You're able to make the report and you're able to appear for this hearing. Yet you're too sick to go into work but you're well enough to come here. Why you're still getting paid from the United States government is that correct?
BRIGHT: Sir, I've been under medical leave until--
MULLIN: I get that but if you have been on your medical leave, too sick to do that but yet you can prepare for it for two hour hearing. I just - just have a hard time tracking. I have - have a hard time understanding that. And if you have hypertension and you're too sick to go to NIH but yet you're - but you didn't ever experience that in BARDA, right? You never had issues in BARDA with hypertension?
BRIGHT: We have the level of stress have been removed from my position well I was in BARDA. So this has been very stressful and in my position. MULLIN: I know - I get it people handle pressure. People handle pressure quite different but as a Director of BARDA I would feel like you're quite a bit of stressful position when you're trying to manage a pandemic but you can't manage that or you could manage that but you can't manage your own hypertension when it comes because you got removed from the office.
But yet you can still receive pay from NIH but you can't show up for work and then also you can prepare for this but you can't do that. I just have a hard time understanding it. I know you're bright individual and very smart but you are an employee of the Federal Government.
I just want to make sure you're not doing something to deceive the American people at the same time getting paid from the United States government. With that I'm going to yield to the Ranking Member Walden.
REP. GREG WALDEN (R-OR): I thank the gentleman. Dr, Bright your lawyer appears to have a pretty substantial finder there and I know Mr. Guthrie ask about the documents that they're on the table. Are those the exhibits to your complaint to the office of Special Counsel?
BRIGHT: I don't know it might--
WALDEN: I'll direct it to the Counsel then since she's answered other questions. Are those the exhibits to the complaint to the office of Special Counsel?
DEBRA KATZ, ATTORNEY FOR RICHARD BRIGHT: Some are and some of my work product and some are my notes and they're not - they're not appropriate to turn over to Congress.
WALDEN: So is it appropriate to turn over the documents that are referenced in the complaint not your work product I respect that to this Committee and would you do that?
KATZ: I think - you asked a question initially and I said we would look at the documents to determine whether they are appropriate to turn over.
WALDEN: I'm just talking about the ones that - we have partial email chains. We have screenshots of emails. I think we should have the right to see those documents if we're going to effectively know the full extent of this complaint. And I just wish you would commit to turn those over. Dr. Bright would you turn those over?
KATZ: I think I address that--
WALDEN: Dr. Bright, I'm asking Dr. Bright now. Are you willing to turn those documents over?
BRIGHT: --my full complaint to the office of Special Counsel that is the process I know to follow so.
WALDEN: But you're here as an individual--
ESHOO: Gentleman's time is expired--
WALDEN: Listen Laurite, we just want to see what you've submitted so we can evaluate our selves.
BRIGHT: Sir I don't understand the full process other than I was supposed to submit it to the office of Special Counsel which have done. So I don't understand the legalities of other sharing that before they've had their opportunity to review that and--
WALDEN: They've certainly been shared out into the public and press "The Washington Post" has it from some source. They look a lot like what's referenced in your complaint would none of us - I don't know where those came from.
WALDEN: But you know other media outlets are certainly see. I just think it's--
ESHOO: Your time is expired.
WALDEN: Madam Chair you should request them.
ESHOO: We will seek all information that's appropriate to be submitted to the Committee and what I circulated or re-circulated to all members of the subcommittee where the emails that was public as well as the complaint. That's what was out there.
WALDEN: I know but--
ESHOO: I haven't - in fact daily who says what - I mean "POLITICO" has something to do. I don't know the veracity of things--
WALDEN: But in any other - you know any other investigation we would both be going say we need to see all the documents as a committee. So that's all I'm after.
KATZ: Madam Chair--
WALDEN: --just the facts.
KATZ: --may I address one point?
ESHOO: I think that, I think we need to move on. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized Mr. Schrader.
REP. KURT SCHRADER (D-OR): Thank you. Thank you for being here Dr. Bright I really appreciate it tough to do very impressive issue here. Could you describe the tone and reactions of Dr. Kadlec and Dr. Azar your January 23rd meeting when you had - they had they all agencies meeting on COVID virus. Could you describe how up to speed they seem to be?
BRIGHT: In that meeting sir it was one of our first meetings that we had about to hand and address the outbreak. And because we had practice I came in with my list of needs in those lists for money, people and viruses my request was met with a bit of surprise and puzzlement I remember Secretary Azar looking around the room and saying money - you need money maybe there's money somewhere. I mean it was just something - that I should have had by--
SCHARDER: Despite the fact that we've had the outbreak in China for some time?
BRIGHT: This was January 23rd at this point.
SCHARDER: Could you describe January 25 - if you remember email exchange with that Mr. Bone on the mask situation?
BRIGHT: I don't remember that specific, but I'm sure it was urgent. I'm sure that Mr. Bone was sending me a notice saying asking if this--
SCHARDER: So you didn't ask him to come and talk to you. He just reached out to you.
BRIGHT: Yes, sir.
SCHARDER: Okay, how about an email exchange with Dr. Kerr on January 27th? Did you reach out to Dr. Hurd, or he came and asks want to--
BRIGHT: Dr. Kerr reached out to me I believe - this was because again he is pandemic influenza expert as well response and though he knows the vital nature of needing those viruses and he was involved in prepping our Secretary for a call he had with the Minister, Vice Minister Ma in China.
And we knew a high priority was first our Secretary to ask for those viruses. We've had challenges in the past getting viruses from China from avian influenza strains and viruses. So this is a high priority as we needed that to get started.
And he was alarmed when he wrote to me that morning indicating that the CDC Director had re-prioritized and actually indicate we did not need or he did not need to - the Secretary did not need to ask China for viruses. And it was alarming to us because we knew how critical it was?
SCHARDER: That sounds incredible in light to what is transpired since then. So I guess my major point here is that we have brave individual coming forward as a whistleblower but he is not alone. There are many others experts, scientists and manufacturers they realized we were and if I may say deep **** not a long time ago.
Long before the administration in the White House began to wake up. What do you - what do you think would have happened if Mr. Navarro had not reached out to you and actually responded to you? What - where would we be now if you hadn't been able at least to get one person White House's attention?
BRIGHT: It is difficult to speculate where were. So even when Mr. Navarro reached out and strongly suggested that action be taken on February 10th or February 9th was in the email, February 10th it was conveyed to Dr. Kadlec that we needed to ramp up production of N-95 masks.
That order did not go out that solicitation did not close to March 18th. So even with the pressure of Mr. Navarro who I believe shared a sense of urgency about this outbreak that pressure alone still did not spur Dr. Kadlec in our strategic national stockpile to that urgently needed action.
SCHARDER: That's a very disconcerting and the reason we're here today perhaps. Last question if I may and switching gears and going to the other side of the spectrum while it's been hard to get folks attention here in Washington D.C. in the ministration on the seriousness of this. I think most people now are convinced this is a very serious issue.
SCHARDER: And I'm a little concerned we're going too much the other way in terms of information. You alluded to it here on the vaccines and I think some people are under the impression there's a vaccine going to be developed in a couple of months and everything is going to be fine.
I can go back to work. And you know we unfortunate have to juxtapose economic issues they have to have realistic expectations at home. And you - I think accurately indicated well, you know it can take up to 10 years and you know the quickest we did I guess was Ebola and that was I believe five years.
So you know is it - tough question I ask, I suppose you don't have to answer. But I mean - I should be - I don't want America to think they can just not get back to some semblance of a new post COVID life until a vaccine comes out because that could take years.
And there's a chance the vaccine will maybe not be as effective much like our flu vaccine. You know with the flu mutating year to year sometimes is - so I just want to make sure that you would - ask you if you would agree that we can't wait to open up American entirely until a vaccine is there. We have to use some of the other parameters you've already suggested.
BRIGHT: We have to make sure that we have some scientifically led and driven decisions on how and when it's safe to reopen America? If it happens before we have a vaccine, I mean if we have a vaccine faster that's great.
But if it we knew we do need to open America up sooner, we need to make sure everyone understands the risk and knows understands a risk of their activities. And everyone has to play a critical part in following those activities to reduce the risk.
We have to have a testing plan in place enough tests to make sure that we know when people are exposed? So they can be quarantined and isolated and not continue to infect others. We also developing a number of therapeutics that could offer some potential benefit prophylactic or protects you almost like a vaccine before you're infected. Those are being developed and maybe even faster than the vaccine. And health care workers and frontline workers can use that therapeutics that that might offer them some protection as well until there is a vaccine.
So there are number of steps in between now and the vaccine. I believe we let science lead the discussion and we inform America the risk and then clear guidance on what needs to happen and people follow that guidance in their step wise process of getting back to work and back out of our homes.
SCHARDER: Great, thank you very much.
ESHOO: Gentleman, your time is expired. And he yields back. Pleasure to recognize the gentleman from North Carolina Mr. Hudson for his five minutes of questions.
REP. RICHARD HUDSON (R-NC): Thank you Madam Chair. First of let me say I believe any whistleblower should be respected and allowed to be heard as a core component of keeping our government accountable and running smoothly.
But this hearing is not about a whistleblower complete. It's about undermining the administration during a national and global crisis. As evidenced by the fact this hearing is being held in the wrong subcommittee and well before the Office of Special Counsel finishes its work.
To disregard the minority so spectacularly in the organization's hearing only highlights the partisan and political nature of this hearing. I hope the day will be held up in the future as a lesson of what not to do and the respect and gravity that should be given the whistleblower complaints so that they're not abused for political expediency.
More importantly though we have vital work we should be doing. My constituents want Congress to get back to work. So I'm glad to be here to highlight the important work that needs to be done. I hope from an ophthalmologist my district this week about the need for relief.
She says she'll consider this your success if her practice group even breaks even. Long story short we should be examined 175 billion authorized and appropriated in a bipartisan manner for providers and what provider still need and recommendations for moving forward.
We should also examine why there are gaps and outcomes and access for minority communities? Favor North Carolina in my district has a large and diverse community and understandably the folks back home are scared because Coronavirus hits them hardest.
Why are we not spending our time today examining this crisis within a crisis more closely? I hear from providers and hospitals about issues with PPE. I know this administration has done extraordinary things to secure more PPE. I want to thank President Donald Trump for strong leadership. Now into his administration move quickly to coordinate a response but its travel ban on January 30th was a bold move. Those panned by his critics as an over action at the time. The administration has gone to great lengths to overcome an adequate system they inherited.
As you testified earlier move quickly to start programs like project Airbridge, expedite more PPE coming in. Questions remain about why there is a global shortage and what more Congress can do to support the ministrations efforts to secure sufficient PPE?
This Committee should be working on that question. We have multiple piece of bipartisan legislation wait to be considered to improve the operations of the strategic national stockpile which we examine why stockpiles are allowed to dwindle under previous administrations.
HUDSON: Answers to these questions and solutions to these problems are timely and critical to helping this administration combat this virus in the deadly disease and causes.
I hear from constituents every day who are suffering under the stay at home orders. This crisis is hard for anyone who won't - even if they weren't suffering from substance use disorder or mental health challenges before they were confined or homes.
And this crisis has exacerbated this problem. Why are we not examine access issues to mental health providers and it affects this crisis had on our constituent's mental health? Dr. Bright you're no doubt an accomplished scientist and I appreciate the service you've render this country.
You deserve to be heard and a whistleblower complaint should be given the serious consideration any whistleblower complains deserves? But we also deserve they have the opportunity to ask questions about serious allegations that have been made against you.
And I will note again this is not the time or place for that hearing. The time is after the Office of Special Counsel completes its work and then places the Oversight Investigations Committee but Dr. Bright building on questions for Mr. Walden and others.
"POLITICO" released a yesterday stating that your complaint left out a lot of information and contacts regarding agency decisions to acquire Hydroxychloroquine. You chose not to elevate your concerns to the officers of Inspector General but instead kept selective screen shots that include full context.
Another example "The Wall Street Journal" reported on an email today that seems to show that you were in support of acquiring and using Hydroxychloroquine. Can you elaborate on what was missing from your screen shots and why you didn't elevate your concerns at any time to the Office of Inspector General?
BRIGHT: So the early days after that when I was aware of that Hydroxychloroquine. We were interested in acquiring that drug for its use a randomized controlled clinical study. Actually when I heard from Dr. Woodcock that is something that we should try to investigate a randomized controlled study I even reached out to a company to - that was licensed and approved to make that drug in the United States to see if they could donate that drug to the NIH to conduct those clinical studies.
I was aware of other efforts that we're ongoing to try to acquire some of that drug of course to use in randomized controlled clinical studies. As long as it was going to be used at that time for those randomized controlled clinical studies I thought we should look into the supply chain the same way I did with Remdesivir.
It was only after I learned that that supply that was being discussed was coming in from Pakistan and from India from facilities that were not approved by the FDA and the trial was not approved for use in the United States. I became increasingly alarmed of having those drugs in the United States.
Second it was when I learned that that the plan was to make the drug available through an expanded access program so people could potentially get that drug and not be under the closed supervision of a health care provider that caused significant concern is because of that and the cascading days afterwards that we put in that emergency use authorization with the safety belt bumpers and bearers that we feel comfortable with that that drug would only be used on a closed clinical supervision.
But in the earlier days in that email exchange that you're referring to was before we knew about this information of Pakistan, before we knew it's going to be used for expanded access clinical - expanded access protocol. It was when I thought our average to obtain similar drug will be used at the NIH to conduct randomized controlled clinical studies. So I was relieved that we did identify some supplies of that drug for those clinical studies.
HUDSON: My time's expired Madam Chair. I yield back.
ESHOO: The gentleman yields back. Pleasure to recognize the gentleman from Massachusetts Mr. Kennedy for his five minutes of questions.
REP. JOHN KENNEDY III (D-MS): Dr. Bright thank you very much for being here and thank you for your service to our country. Let's ground this hearing a little bit as of this morning which means these numbers have increased there's one point for nearly 1.4 million cases diagnosed of COVID-19 in the United States and over 80,000 fatalities.
Experts believe both of those numbers are under count because after five months of this virus being on our shores we still has a systemic problem with regards robust testing is that right? Cases many states across the country are still actually increasing in number despite the lack of testing are that right?
You mentioned in your testimony that "We missed early warning signs and forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook" is that right?
BRIGHT: Yes. KENNEDY: Sir, you are in the Head of BARDA since 2016 is that right?
BRIGHT: Yes, until recently.
KENNEDY: You experienced any pandemics prior to this one over your course of time either there or in your prior government service?
BRIGHT: We responded to Zika outbreak. We responded to the Ebola outbreak. They didn't rise to the level of pandemic.
KENNEDY: Of course, right. Thank you for the clarification.