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A federal watchdog group has recommended Rick Bright be reinstated to his former post while it investigates allegations that his removal from that position was in retaliation for being a whistleblower, the New York Times reports.

Bright led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for about four years until last month, when he was reassigned to a smaller role at the National Institutes of Health. He soon said, though, that he was forced out of his position at BARDA and filed a whistleblower complaint. In his complaint, Bright and his attorneys allege that he was reassigned because he had pushed back against pressure to assign contracts to companies with ties to Trump Administration officials and because he called for strict testing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, drugs President Donald Trump has presented as coronavirus treatments with limited evidence.

Bright's lawyers say the Office of Special Counsel has "made a threshold determination" that the Department of Health and Human Services violated the Whistleblower Protection Act and that the office recommends Bright be reinstated during its investigation, the Times reports. It adds that the office's recommendation is not binding.

President Trump, the Times notes, has said Bright is "disgruntled."

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