Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that he would ask the Sunshine State’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” involving the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
“In Florida, it is illegal to mislead and misrepresent, especially when you are talking about the efficacy of a drug,” the newly reelected governor said during a roundtable with state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and a number of scientists and physicians.
The discussion had touched on pharmaceutical companies not making their vaccine data available to independent researchers.
“We’ll be able to get the data whether they want to give it or not,” added DeSantis, who’s widely expected to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The governor also noted that the Sunshine State “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 also announced the formation of a Public Health Integrity Committee, to be headed up by Ladapo, “to ensure public health policies are tailored for Florida’s communities and aligned with state priorities.”
The Republican, who routinely bucked the Biden administration’s recommendations on vaccinations and lockdowns during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, suggested that the pharma giants are withholding information that shows a link between the COVID shots and heart problems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, have been recorded after vaccinations, but insisted that those cases are rare.
In DeSantis’ petition to establish the grand jury, he said that the state Department of Health conducted its own analysis “and found an increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related deaths among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.”
He also referenced similar studies in France, Canada, Germany and Switzerland that came to the same conclusion.
“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,” DeSantis said in the petition.
”An investigation is warranted to determine whether the pharmaceutical industry has engaged in fraudulent practices. The people of Florida deserve to know the truth,” he said.
According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus resource center, 83,201 people died of coronavirus in Florida out of 7,270,410 cases. More than 70% of the state’s population was fully vaccinated.
By comparison, New York, which has a slightly smaller population, recorded 74,327 deaths and 6,458,663 cases. Nearly 80% of the state population has been fully vaccinated.
DeSantis said he expects to get approval for the grand jury that will be empaneled in the Tampa Bay area.
“That will come with legal processes that will be able to get more information,” he said, “and to bring legal accountability to those who committed misconduct.”