Oklahoma GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin launched into a ridiculously offensive and personal line of questioning to Dr. Bright that had literally nothing to do with COVID and was meant to discredit him, insult him and annoy him.
Dr. Bright, calm and composed, remained stoic and answered every question, showing zero emotion. I cannot say the same about me or most of Twitter, which responded with disgust. Here is a taste of Mullin's ridiculous questions:
MULLIN: Where are you currently employed?
BRIGHT: I am in the middle of transitioning between BARTA and NIH.
MULLIN: So you accepted the reassigned position to NIH.
BRIGHT: That position is under discussion at this point. I have not yet accepted that role.
MULLIN: Are you currently being paid?
BRIGHT: I am currently being paid.
MULLIN: Sir, at BARTA, you make $285,000. Is that correct?
BRIGHT: That's true.
MULLIN: You reported to NIH yet?
BRIGHT: I have checked in with the NIH Director's office and we discussed on boarding process and fingerprinting process and we had a call just last evening to discuss the framework of my responsibilities that they have envision for me at the NIH.
MULLIN: You have not reported work but you are still getting paid, correct?
BARTA: I have sick leave since I was pushed out of my position. I had sick leave for high blood pressure.
MULLIN: For hypertension? So you are on medical leave.
BRIGHT: Yes, I have been on medical leave, I have transitioned to annual leave.
MULLIN: What is annual leave? Did you inform your supervisor of coming here today?
BRIGHT: I have not informed them of my leave status. I had a conversation with them last night.
MULLIN: So you transferred from medical leave to vacation this week or the start of next week?
BRIGHT: I had a conversation with my physician about my hypertension and how we have been managing it over the last three weeks because it has been stressful to be removed without explanation from my role and position, it is a life-changing for me. My physician have been working with me to manage my heart condition and stress and the conversation I had with him last night indicated --
MULLIN: I am kind of confused, you said you had hypertension and you are able to do this interview and able to prepare for this hearing. You are too sick to go to work and while you are still getting paid from United States Government, is that correct?
BRIGHT: Sir, I have been under medical leave.
MULLIN: I get that. If you are too sick to do that but you can prepare for a two-hour hearing. I am having a hard time tracking it and understanding it. If you have hyper-tension and you are too sick to go to NIH but you did not experienced that at BARTA, right?
BRIGHT: This has been very stressful.
Absolutely despicable line of questioning. First, attacking him for his salary, his choice of leave, insinuating that he is either lying about his reason for leave or that he is lying to his employer to get that leave, then mocking him for his stress level.
When you can't win on facts, you make it personal. That's Republican Politics 101.