Lawyers: Investigators recommend whistleblower is reinstated

In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services, Rick Bright is shown in his official photo from April 27...

In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services, Rick Bright is shown in his official photo from April 27...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal investigators have found “reasonable grounds” that a government whistleblower was punished for opposing widespread use of an unproven drug that President Donald Trump touted as a remedy for COVID-19, his lawyers said Friday.

Dr. Rick Bright headed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. He had received a job performance review of outstanding before he was summarily transferred last month. The agency is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Investigators with the Office of Special Counsel “made a threshold determination that HHS violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by removing Dr. Bright from his position because he made protected disclosures in the best interest of the American public," his lawyers Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said in a statement. The OSC is an agency that investigates whistleblower complaints.

The lawyers said investigators are requesting that HHS reinstate Bright.