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Kansas native to serve on Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board

In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services,...
In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services, Rick Bright is shown in his official photo on April 27, 2017, in Washington. (Health and Human Services via AP)(AP)
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 12:16 PM CST
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH/AP) - On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden named a Hutchinson, Kan. native to his COVID-19 pandemic taskforce.

Dr. Rick Bright joins the 13-member board which will be chaired by former Food Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University associate professor and associate dean whose research focuses on promoting health care equality for marginalized populations.

Bright was born and raised in Hutchinson. He graduated from Hutchinson High School. He spent two years at the University of Kansas before leaving for Auburn University-Montgomery where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He went on to earn his PhD. from Emory University School of Medicine in immunology and virology.

Bright served as the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) from 2016 until 2020 when he was demoted to the National Health Institute (NIH). In a whistleblower complaint, Bright alleged the Trump administration ignored his early warnings about the coronavirus pandemic and retaliated against him, ousting him from the higher position. Bright resigned in October of 2020.

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