(National Review) Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday his intention to empanel a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” involving Covid-19 vaccines in the state.
DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate, made the announcement during a roundtable discussion about vaccine accountability that he held with Florida’s surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who has previously expressed concerns about the safety of Covid mRNA vaccines and boosters. The roundtable was attended by medical and health specialists who raised similar concerns about the safety of the vaccines.
Most health officials agree that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from Covid-19.
DeSantis said he intends to petition the Supreme Court of Florida to empanel the grand jury, likely in the Tampa Bay area. DeSantis did not specify what “wrongdoing” the grand jury would investigate, but he said the grand jury would come with legal processes to obtain information from vaccine manufacturers and “those who committed misconduct.”
“We’ll be able to get the data whether they want to give it or not,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, it is illegal to mislead and misrepresent, especially when you are talking about the efficacy of a drug.”
In addition to petitioning for a grand jury, DeSantis also announced that he is establishing a Public Health Integrity Committee, which will be overseen by Ladapo, and will assess federal public-health recommendations and guidance. The state will also be “leading further surveillance into sudden deaths of individuals that received the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida, based on autopsy results,” according to a press release. The state will collaborate with the University of Florida to compare research to studies in other countries.
In recent weeks, DeSantis has been talking about taking steps to hold vaccine manufacturers accountable for side effects. “We are going to work to hold these manufacturers accountable for this mRNA [vaccine] because they said there was no side effects, and we know that there have been, and there have been a lot,” DeSantis said at a private event recently.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention has acknowledged that the vaccines come with a slightly elevated risk of myocarditis, the inflation of the heart muscles, but Florida officials have said their own research has found a much more significant increase.