“I think people want the truth that I think people want accountability,” DeSantis said. “You need to have a thorough investigation into what happened with the shooting.”
In a petition to the state Supreme Court Asking about the grand jury, the DeSantis administration said the “pharmaceutical industry has a notorious history of misleading the public for financial gain” and the grand jury will investigate “the development, promotion and distribution of vaccines that are supposed to prevent infection by COVID-19, symptoms and transmission”.
DeSantis’s announcement was the latest in an ongoing war between his administration and the Biden administration, and the broader medical community, over the pandemic. DeSantis has built a national reputation fighting Covid-related mandates, like immunization requirements or schools mandating students to wear masks. The Biden administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Along with his surgeon general, DeSantis has rejected vaccinations for young children even after the FDA approved vaccines for children under 5 years of age. approval.
In response to DeSantis, Sharon J. Castillo, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, wrote in an email that Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved by regulatory agencies around the world.
“These authorizations are based on a robust and independent evaluation of scientific data on quality, safety and efficacy, including our landmark Phase 3 clinical trial,” Castillo wrote. “Data from real-world studies complement data from clinical trials and provide additional evidence that the vaccine provides effective protection against severe disease.”
Moderna officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During Tuesday’s roundtable, Ladapo also announced the creation of the Public Health Integrity Committee, which will offer guidance to the public on treatment options for Covid. The committee will also criticize guidance released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“People feel like they owe a debt to the CDC,” Ladapo said during the roundtable. “We will issue recommendations that make sense and are scientifically valid.”
Ladapo also announced plans to launch a study on people who died of cardiovascular problems after receiving the vaccine. Ladapo had published a study on heart problems and the vaccine in October that was criticized by many in the medical community for lacking evidence and analysis. This study will include coordination with the 25 regional offices of the State Medical Examiner and the University of Florida, and will determine if people have died from heart complications created by the vaccine.
DeSantis and Ladapo recently began focusing on mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. Both products have gone through the approval process set by federal health care regulators, and Ladapo cautioned that it is dangerous to rush the science that far. He was one of more than 20 medical experts who signed a petition in June 2021 asking the CDC not to give final authorization to the two vaccines, which the federal agency rejected.
Ladapo said during the roundtable that patients now have histories of serious complications related to one of the two mRNA vaccines. Retired Pensacola Police Officer Steve Ordonia told the group that he began experiencing severe muscle and joint pain shortly after receiving a booster shot earlier this year. They took him to the hospital several times before he started blaming the vaccine.
“I knew right there that it was the shot,” Ordonia said, adding that he has contemplated suicide. “We have to change this hospital protocol.”
The roundtable was also joined by Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff and Stanford University professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya. Kulldorff and Bhattacharya wrote the Great Barrington Declaration, which called for the removal of most Covid restrictions and the adoption of herd immunity. Ladapo also chose them to be part of the Public Health Integrity Committee along with five other experts also chosen by him.
This is not the first time DeSantis has called a grand jury to investigate issues in Florida. Over the summer, the governor asked the state superior court to form a state grand jury to investigate illegal immigration. The group published a report. earlier this month calling on the Legislature to create new laws against harboring illegal immigrants.