LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Whistleblower Reveals Republican Bungling and Corruption

On May 14, Dr. Rick Bright testified about the Crimson Contagion pandemic-readiness exercise that Alex Azar’s Department of Health and Human Services participated in last fall. Here are the results of that simulation, contained in a draft report dated October 2019 ( 

They reveal how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government was. The characteristics of the simulated situation are eerily close to those we have actually experienced in the U.S. with the coronavirus pandemic. 

The report makes it readily understandable why Alex Azar and the entire Trump administration have been so virulent in their attack on Dr. Bright: They had hoped they’d put this behind us, but Bright has called the nation’s attention to this exercise again. It is an underappreciated story of being asleep at the wheel. 

In dealing with this coronavirus, we need to look ahead, no doubt, but we also need to make absolutely certain that in this election year, we do not allow the Trump administration and the Republican Party to rewrite the account of what we have just been through. Take a look at this report. You’ll find it stunning. And they did nothing.

Now take a look at Dr. Bright’s whistleblower report, which documents how he tried to wake and ready HHS. That is a report about more than “just” the coronavirus: It is a tale of cronyism, corruption, conspiracy, the disregard for science and subversion of our national interest and our national preparedness. (Visit Bright’s personal complaint starts on page 27; start there. The first pages are the federal government’s formal, generic whistleblower form.)

Renee Fiedler

Sister Bay, Wisconsin