U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials skipped the start of oral arguments Tuesday as a federal district court weighed whether the agency can take 75 years to fully release documents on Pfizer’s Comirnaty COVID vaccine, according to a lawyer representing plaintiffs who sued the FDA for the documents.
A U.S. Department of Justice lawyer representing the FDA told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas the agency will produce more than 329,000 related documents as fast as it can, while safeguarding personally identifiable information and Pfizer trade secrets.
Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT), the group behind the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent lawsuit, is seeking safety and effectiveness data, adverse reaction reports and a list of active and inactive vaccine ingredients.
PHMPT is a group of more than 30 scientists, medical professionals, international public health professionals and journalists. The group’s lawsuit argues the FDA is overestimating the time needed and understaffing the job.
“Assuming a low average of 50 pages per hour per person, even to review the hundreds of thousands of pages the FDA estimates, the agency would need just 19 reviewers to work full-time for 12 weeks to review and produce these documents — which is a tiny fraction of its approximately 18,000 employees,” said PHMPT in a legal brief filed Monday.
FOIA does not mandate any particular processing schedule, only that the agency process requests “as soon as practicable,” the FDA said in a legal brief filed Monday.
“The bottom-line issue still remains what processing schedule is ‘practicable’ for the agency,” the FDA said.
At the agency’s proposed rate of 500 documents per month, the last documents would be released in 2096.
A quote from Business Intelligence Associates, an e-discovery company, estimated 400,000 pages could be produced within six to eight weeks at a cost of $132,000, according to PHMPT.
PHMPT wants the FDA documents released within 108 days. That’s the same amount of time the FDA spent reviewing the responsive documents for “the far more intricate task” of licensing Pfizer’s vaccine, the group said in its lawsuit. Attorney Aaron Siri, who represents PHMPT, said:
“Americans must routinely produce documents, pay fines, and otherwise expend resources to comply with the law. Courts don’t inquire as to the ability or financial resources to comply with the law — they must comply.
“In fact, it would be laughable if a billionaire defendant came before a court and claimed poverty to escape making a document production, but that is the FDA’s position.”
The FDA budget for fiscal year 2019 was $6.1 billion. In the FDA’s 64-page briefing, the agency argued it needed the full 75 years to redact and release the documents out of “fairness” to other FOIA requesters. PHMPT defined fairness differently in its responding brief:
“Fairness would be giving millions of Americans who are mandated to receive this liability-free vaccine today assurance regarding the FDA’s review by allowing independent scientists access to the same data the FDA reviewed, without making them wait decades.
“Fairness would be allowing Americans injured by the vaccine today, who cannot sue Pfizer or anyone else for the harm, hope that independent scientists with access to that data can more readily develop treatments for their ailments.
“Fairness would be our federal health authorities allocating more than one person spending a few hours each month to review Pfizer’s documents for public disclosure after having given Pfizer over $17 billion of taxpayer money to develop and market the product.
“That would be fair to the American people.”
Siri noted that no decision has been made by the court and that a transcript of this week’s hearing should be released soon. U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) earlier this month introduced a bill that would force the FDA to release them in 100 days.
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC