Fox News’s "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier said Thursday that former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority head Rick Bright’s testimony about the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic could be “potentially politically damaging” for President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE.
Baier also asserted that the public health official was someone who could not be easily discredited.
On Thursday, Bright testified to the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee that his warnings about medical supply shortages were allegedly "met with indifference" by his superiors in January before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country.
Bright contended that "they didn't have a plan, they didn't know who was responsible for procuring those."
“This is significant testimony today. Obviously, he has a long history in the job that he was in. The president calls him a disgruntled employee but whether he’s that or not, he does have a lot of experience and he’s telling the story about not being prepared for this pandemic," explained Baier, the network's chief political anchor, on the show "Outnumbered."
"This is potentially politically damaging for the president as he’s talking about trying to get a handle on the health crisis and open up around the country," he added.
“He is not discredited easily, this Rick Bright, and in fact, his whistleblower report was very detailed to the point where the federal government itself said that he had standing to make this testimony," Baier said. "I think it’s one worth watching today because Democrats obviously will pounce on this as an example of the administration dropping the ball.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pointedly rebuked Bright's testimony about the administration's coronavirus response when speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Thursday afternoon.
“Everything he is complaining about was achieved. Everything he talked about was done,” Azar said while flanked by Trump before departing on a trip to Pennsylvania.
"He says he talked about the need for respirators. We procured respirators under the president’s direction. He said we need a Manhattan project for vaccines. This president initiates a vaccine Manhattan project, diagnostic Manhattan project, therapeutic Manhattan project,” Azar added.