In a whistleblower complaint filed with a government watchdog last week, Bright said that he warned about the virus in January and was met with hostility from leaders of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees BARDA.
Bright, who was reassigned to a new government job last month, said he was ousted from BARDA because he resisted efforts to push the drugs hydroxychloroquine and the related chloroquine as cures for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
Bright said in the statement last month that the U.S. government has promoted the medicines as a "panacea" even though they "clearly lack scientific merit."
HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley has disputed Bright's account, saying in a statement on Tuesday that he was transferred to a job where he was entrusted to spend around $1 billion to develop diagnostic testing.
HHS said earlier this month it would allow state health departments to distribute Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir drug to fight COVID-19, and the United States would receive about 40% of the drug maker's global donation.