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House hearing exposes Biden FDA 'politicization,' fallout of rushed COVID vaccine approval for kids, military

PoliticsHouse hearing exposes Biden FDA 'politicization,' fallout of rushed COVID vaccine approval for kids, military

A House Judiciary subcommittee hearing Wednesday addressing the “politicization” of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the pandemic exposed how the Biden administration allegedly pressured medical professionals to expedite the COVID-19 vaccine for children before enough testing was completed to confirm or deny its safety. 

At the onset of the subcommittee hearing, “Follow the Science?: Oversight of the Biden COVID-19 Administrative State Response,” Chairman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., read from past testimony of Dr. Marion Gruber, the former director of the FDA’s vaccine office, regarding conversations she had with Dr. Peter Marks, the agency’s top vaccine regulator, about the efficacy of the COVID vaccine in children. Massie said Gruber expressed a need for more trial testing in the pediatric population, specifically among males ages 12 to 17, but Marks allegedly pushed to further compress the schedule to license the vaccines so they could be mandated.

“Right when they were getting the warnings that myocarditis and pericarditis are real and serious side effects to the vaccine, the top scientists at FDA had already agreed to compress the schedule as much as possible, right when they got the message that there were serious side effects,” Massie said. “And Peter Marks, instead of telling them, ‘We’re going to give you more time to study this,’ he told them to compress the schedule even more.

“And when they said that compressing the schedule was not possible, he fired them. He took them off the job, he assigned them to other duties. The top vaccine officials who had been there for 30 years, taken off the job because they wanted more time to study the effects of the vaccines. And they were told they needed to do this quickly because they needed to be mandated.


Massie opening statement

Chairman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., delivers his opening statement before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust hearing Wednesday, June 26, 2024. (Handout)

“The Biden administration was mandating the vaccine on the military and young people going to school despite a lack of testing and data, despite growing reports of vaccine injuries. This kind of decision made by the administrative state is concerning. The FDA should not have approved a vaccine for children, EOA or otherwise, without proper testing. Injury from COVID vaccination is real.” 

During a separate line of questioning, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asked the witnesses, “Would you agree that the biggest reason for vaccine hesitancy is because of what the United States government told us about COVID and about the vaccine itself?” 

“I agree,” Dr. Jordan Vaughn, an internist at a private practice in Birmingham, Alabama, said. “They were told one thing and, fairly, most people, once the opposite happens, usually start to question whoever told them that.” 

“The cause of vaccine hesitancy, the reason this got so political, in my judgment, is because our government told us time and time again things that were not accurate,” Jordan said. 

Vaughn testified earlier in the hearing that, since 2022, he has treated more than 2,000 “unique patients” with complications from the COVID-19 vaccination, including more than 30 service members.

He provided six specific examples of otherwise healthy members of the military who, upon receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and mandated booster shots, were suddenly hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, chest pain or shortness or breath. Some needed emergency surgery to remove a pancreas, some became too weak to walk or were eventually discharged after being deemed no longer physically fit enough to serve. In one case, one man had a cardiac arrest and died on his bathroom floor.

closeup of a vaccination card

A nurse practitioner holds a COVID-19 vaccine card at a New York Health and Hospitals vaccine clinic in the Brooklyn borough of New York Jan. 10, 2021.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

“Especially in those with vaccine injury, their faith in medicine and public health is shattered. Many of those patients were holdouts from getting vaccinated because they either knew their own immune systems’ sensitivities or already had a prior infection of COVID-19,” Vaughn said in his opening statement. 

“However, it was under the August 2021 military service member, federal employee and OSHA mandate these individuals faced a decision to either vaccinate against their conscience and common sense or lose a career and gainful employment. Disabled from the adverse effects of these mandated injections, the profession they once held dear is an afterthought to just hoping for a diagnosis and possible treatment. Among the most egregious is our service members needlessly harmed through the mandate.

“Knowing the emerging data in the spring of 2021 around the hearts of young athletic individuals and myocarditis from the mod mRNA COVID-19 injections,” Vaughn said, “the FDA and the Biden administration sought to speed up approval and mandate it to the military in the name of military preparedness.” 

hearing witnesses

Witnesses are sworn into the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust hearing June 26, 2024. (Handout)


Later, Jordan told Vaughn, “Tell me about that relationship, and how politics played into the relationship that’s supposed to exist between the doctor and their patient.” 

“I think the biggest trust was lost when they were mandated to get something against their conscience, and I think that is one of the things that needs to be — especially when you talk about a physician who knows his patient — there are certain patients that don’t need to have their immune system, in a sense, poked,” said Vaughn, also the founder of the Microvascular Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding treatments for vaccine injury and long COVID. 

“That knowledge is what a physician and their patient have and the relationship that exists. It is not something that is found in a parking lot when you roll down your window.” 

Among the witnesses was Aaron Siri, a vaccine litigation expert handling lawsuits over COVID-19 vaccine injury. 

Vaughn testifies

Dr. Jordan Vaughn testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust June 26, 2024.  (Handout)

He told Jordan “billions of dollars were on the line for these pharmaceutical companies, and that really affected the way that these vaccines were rolled out. That’s a financial conflict of interest, especially when they didn’t have to pay for any injuries, and they knew it beforehand because the federal government contractually agreed that immunity applied to every single vaccine that was rolled out.” 

Along with Gruber, his former boss, Dr. Philip Krause, former Deputy Director, FDA Office of Vaccines Research & Review, testified before the hearing Wednesday that he quit the FDA after 30 years of employment in various roles within the agency in protest over political pressure from the Biden administration to authorize vaccine boosters in young people in 2021.

“The rapid move to mandates, which was foreshadowed by other Biden administration comments, suggested that the rapid review of the vaccine was motivated more by a desire to mandate vaccine than by other public health considerations,” Krause said in his opening statement. 

Nurse preparing a COVID vaccine

A nurse prepares a COVID vaccine.  (Getty Images)


“It would be unrealistic to assume that politicians would have no interest in vaccine policy in the middle of a pandemic,” he added. “Of course, they might hope to influence decision-making in a way that might increase their political capital. But every time this happens, there is collateral damage to trust. Now, if politicians were to own their decisions and state that they were responsible for them, that would at least be transparent and wouldn’t affect the trust in the public health agencies. 

“But if politically appointed and Senate-confirmed agency heads announce these decisions as though they were the result of the normal processes, it becomes almost impossible for the public or for physicians to figure out which decisions are public health based and which are politically motivated.”


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