Gov. DeSantis calls for grand jury to investigate COVID-19 vaccines

DeSantis wants to determine any misconduct by vaccine makers with regards to adverse effects

FILE - Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, front left, gestures as speaks to supporters and members of the media before a bill signing by Gov. Ron DeSantis, front right, Nov. 18, 2021, in Brandon, Fla. Florida health officials have asked the state medical board to draft new policies that would likely restrict gender dysphoria treatments for transgender youth. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (Chris O'Meara, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on the Florida Supreme Court to impanel a grand jury to investigate any wrongdoing involving the COVID-19 vaccine.

DeSantis made the announcement Tuesday at the end of a panel with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo and other noted skeptics of COVID-19 policy in the U.S. in a wide-ranging discussion from social media to how COVID-19 was handled in Denmark to trust in public health officials.

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“That will come with legal processes that we’ll be able to get more information and to bring legal accountability for those who committed misconduct,” DeSantis said.

In particular, DeSantis wants to investigate mRNA vaccine makers, which the panel accused of withholding data regarding the vaccine and heart problems. He’s hoping the panel will be able to get hold of that data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) can happen after COVID-19 vaccination, but are rare. The CDC says those who reported either illness responded well to medicine and rest, recovering after 90 days, according to a study the CDC published in Lancet.

The CDC says as of Dec. 8, 2022, there have been 1,053 preliminary reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in people younger than 18 years of age.

More information is on the Centers for Disease Control website.

Numerous studies find that any heart problems are rare and mild enough that the health benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh those risks.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently requiring both Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna to study the longterm effects of myocarditis after COVID vaccines.

This is the latest statewide grand jury DeSantis has called for to handle issues. He has impaneled a grand jury to investigate school safety procedures and one to investigate illegal immigration rules. Both have called for changes to policies and laws.

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About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.