A magistrate has turned down the Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) request to hide the Pfizer Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine data for 75 years. The ruling by a federal judge in Texas ordered the regulator to publish the vaccine data at a rate far greater than the agency’s initial request.
U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman mandated the FDA in his Jan. 6 order to publish an initial batch of “more than 12,000 pages” of documents about Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot. He gave the agency a deadline of Jan. 31 to publish the first batch.
Pittman added that after the first batch, the FDA must publish the remaining documents “at a rate of 55,000 pages every 30 days.” He set March 1, 2022 as the first deadline for this subsequent batch. The magistrate also ordered a joint status report detailing the endeavor’s progress “by April 1, 2022 and every 90 days thereafter.”
Initially, the FDA asked for a lower rate of 500 pages per month – which amounted to 75 years – to release the documents. It cited “unduly burdensome” logistical and personnel hurdles for the request. Pittman however rejected the request, arguing that assuring the American public that the vaccine “was not rushed on behalf of the U.S.” was a more pressing issue. (Related: FDA should need only ’12 weeks’ to release Pfizer data, not 75 years, plaintiff calculates.)
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the non-profit Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency prompted the release of the FDA documents. According to its website, the collective “exists solely to obtain and disseminate the data relied upon by the FDA to license COVID-19 vaccines.”
Pittman wrote in his Jan. 6 order: “The court recognizes the ‘unduly burdensome’ challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA. [However,] the court concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance … [and] that the expeditious completion of plaintiff’s request is not only practicable, but necessary.”
The federal judge noted in his ruling that “the basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry – vital to the functioning of a democratic society.” He added that the act was legislated to “pierce the veil of administrative secrecy and to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.”
“Congress has long recognized that ‘information is often useful only if it is timely’ and that ‘excessive delay by the agency in its response is often tantamount to denial.'”
Pittman continued that a court of law “may use its equitable powers to require an agency to process documents according to a court-imposed timeline” – something he did, in this case, with the FDA.
The magistrate quoted former President John F. Kennedy, who said: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” Pittman also borrowed a statement from the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who claimed that “excessive administrative secrecy feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in the government.”
Attorney Aaron Siri, counsel for the plaintiffs, said: “This is a great win for transparency and removes one of the strangleholds federal ‘health’ authorities have had on the data needed for independent scientists to offer solutions and address serious issues with the current vaccine program.”
“No person should ever be coerced to engage in an unwanted medical procedure. And while it is bad enough the government violated this basic liberty right by mandating the COVID-19 vaccine, [it] also wanted to hide the data by waiting to fully produce what it relied upon to license this product until almost every American alive today is dead. That form of governance is destructive to liberty and antithetical to the openness required in a democratic society,” he continued. (Related: Pfizer, FDA know the COVID vaccine is dangerous, but they push it anyway.)
Watch the video below of Siri explaining to Glenn Beck why Pfizer and the FDA need 75 years to release vaccine documents.
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