Florida governor seeks grand jury to investigate drug companies’ COVID-19 vaccine statements
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Nov. 19 in Las Vegas. DeSantis said Dec. 13 he plans to petition the state supreme court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines. Photo by John Locher/The Associated Press.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the Florida Supreme Court to appoint a statewide grand jury to investigate “criminal or wrongful activity” related to the development and promotion of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the AP, statewide grand juries in Florida can examine criminal activity. as well as “systemic problems.”
A press release from DeSantis claims that the Biden administration is pushing distribution of mRNA vaccines “through relentless propaganda while ignoring real-life adverse events.” The grand jury petition cites a Florida study showing an increase in cardiac-related deaths among men ages 18 to 39 within 28 days of an mRNA vaccination.
The grand jury petition says Florida has “rejected vaccine mandates and passports,” but some Florida residents chose to get the vaccine because they thought that it would prevent the transmission of COVID-19. They relied on assurances by drugmakers and government officials, the petition says.
According to CNN, DeSantis “has made COVID-19 vaccine skepticism his calling card ahead of a potential run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.” The network cited an analysis released Tuesday estimating that vaccines prevented more than 3.2 million deaths and 18.5 million hospitalizations in the United States. The analysis was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund and the Yale School of Public Health.
Politico obtained a statement from Pfizer spokesperson Sharon J. Castillo, who said Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved by regulatory agencies across the world.
“These authorizations are based on robust and independent evaluation of the scientific data on quality, safety and efficacy, including our landmark phase 3 clinical trial,” Castillo wrote. “Data from real-world studies complement the clinical trial data and provide additional evidence that the vaccine provides effective protection against severe disease.”