Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is ready to take on Big Pharma.
DeSantis announced Tuesday that he will seek to investigate companies that made mRNA vaccines developed to treat COVID-19, according to WESH-TV. The vaccines in question were made by Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech and Moderna. His announcement came after a virtual roundtable during which some voiced concerns that independent researchers have been unable to get their hands on data concerning the vaccines.
“In Florida, it is illegal to mislead and misrepresent, particularly when you are talking about the efficacy of a drug,” DeSantis said.
BREAKING: Gov. DeSantis announced a petition with the FL Supreme Court to impanel a grand jury to investigate wrongdoing as it relates to COVID-19 vaccines. pic.twitter.com/sf94KLgFX0
— The Florida Standard (@theflstandard) December 13, 2022
“We’ve seen just recently that Florida got $3.2 billion through legal action against those responsible for the opioid crisis. So, it’s not like this is something that’s unprecedented.”
DeSantis then announced his next step.
“Today, I’m announcing a petition with the Supreme Court of Florida to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate any and all wrongdoing in Florida with respect to COVID-19 vaccines. And we anticipate that we will get the approval for that,” he said.
“That will be something that will be impaneled most likely in the Tampa Bay area and that will come with legal processes that will be able to get more information and bring legal accountability for those who committed misconduct,” DeSantis said.
Under Florida law, statewide grand juries have broad leeway to investigate and address issues other than criminal conduct.
“We’ll be able to get the data whether they want to give it or not,” DeSantis said, according to WESH.
During the roundtable, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said the risk of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines “is much higher … not in the same ballpark as other vaccines,” according to the Daily Mail.
DeSantis also announced he is creating a Public Health Integrity Committee that will include many participants in the roundtable, according to CNBC.
Pfizer offered a statement in response.
“Regulatory agencies across the world have authorized the use of our COVID-19 vaccine,” it said in a statement to Fox Business.
“These authorizations are based on robust and independent evaluation of the scientific data on quality, safety and efficacy, including our landmark phase three clinical trial. Data from real world studies complement the clinical trial data and provide additional evidence that the vaccine provides effective protection against severe disease,” Pfizer said.
According to the petition DeSantis submitted to the court, drug makers made promises that were not borne out in reality.
“World Health Organization officials admitted that the vaccines did ‘not fully prevent transmission.’ Indeed, various studies have seriously undermined the narrative that vaccination prevents the transmission of COVID-19, especially the delta and omicron variants. This calls into question the accuracy of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ representations that their vaccines would stop transmission, develop herd immunity, and help end the pandemic,” the petition said.
The petition also said that the drug manufacturers have backtracked on representations that there was no link between their vaccines and cases of myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart.
“The pharmaceutical industry has a notorious history of misleading the public for financial gain. Questions have been raised regarding the veracity of the representations made by the pharmaceutical manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly with respect to transmission prevention, efficacy, and safety. An investigation is warranted to determine whether the pharmaceutical industry has engaged 1n fraudulent practices. The people of Florida deserve to know the truth,” the petition said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.