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Navy lieutenant investigated after questioning accuracy of DOD medical database on social media

Lt. Ted Macie is seeking answers regarding the significant increases in potential vaccine injuries and other reported incidents in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database.

Published: December 18, 2023 11:38pm

Updated: December 19, 2023 2:03pm

A Navy whistleblower is being investigated after posting a video on social media about irregularities in the Defense Department’s medical database. 

Lieutenant Edward “Ted” Macie, who serves in the Navy Medical Service Corps, is under investigation after he posted a video of himself in uniform on the social media platform “X” a couple of weeks ago discussing irregularities in DOD medical billing data from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), according to his lawyer, R. Davis Younts. 

DMED is the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch's (AFHSB) "web-based tool to remotely query de-identified active component personnel and medical event data contained within the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS)," according to the Defense Health Agency. 

The database contains every International Classification of Diseases (ICD) medical billing code for all medical diagnoses submitted by the military for medical insurance billing. 

Macie was eventually told to take the video down, which he did, Younts told Just the News last week. 

However, on Wednesday, Macie was informed that he is suspected of violating Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 92, Failure to Obey an Order, and 133, Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, according to his wife, Mara Macie. 

She told Just the News that his Miranda rights were listed on the form titled, "Department of The Navy Military Suspect's Acknowledgement and Waiver of Rights," which stated the basis of the investigation. 

According to Younts, however Macie has not been informed as to specifically what actions he allegedly committed that are being investigated. 

Last year, military medical whistleblowers went to Congress about increases in common vaccine injuries in DOD medical billing data from DMED. 

The DOD told PolitiFact after the whistleblowers came forward that the increase was due to a problem with the database from 2015 to 2020, but the 2021 numbers were accurate. The official said DMED was taken down to "identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption." 

Mara Macie said that the DOD had “shut down DMED for a month” after the whistleblowers came forward, and then brought it back online and said that it was fixed. 

However, after DMED was put back online, Macie reviewed the numbers and saw significant increases in potential vaccine injuries and other reported incidents, such as domestic abuse, boating accidents, and slips, trips, and falls, according to Mara Macie. 

He reported the issues he believed were occurring with DMED's data through his chain of command, but nothing happened, his wife said. 

After some Congress members mentioned the military’s retention and recruitment problems, suggesting the military invite people back in who were kicked out over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and give them back pay, Macie posted his video on “X,” noting problems with the DMED data and the lack of an investigation. 

By the end of the week, Macie was told to take down the video, which he did, but then his access to his government computer was revoked without explanation. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later that Macie was informed of what he was being investigated for, his wife explained.

Mara Macie said that her husband has been posting about the DMED data on “X” since January but that this was the first time he posted a video about it. She added that many service members who received the COVID-19 vaccine have told Macie that they wish they hadn't gotten the shot and believe they are experiencing adverse reactions from it.

The cause for the irregular DMED data is unknown, Mara Macie said, which is why Macie is trying to get "honest answers."

Younts told Just the News on Friday that Macie is “under investigation for violating DOD instruction, but they haven't identified what instruction.” Younts is a specialist in defending military personnel facing disciplinary or criminal charges.  

“Conduct unbecoming an officer” has a “specific legal definition,” Younts explained, since the conduct “has to rise to the level of ‘morally reprehensible’ to be considered.” 

The Navy hasn’t identified what unbecoming conduct Macie allegedly committed that would “rise to that level,” Younts said, adding that he has “reached out through legal channels for clarification for what he allegedly violated.” 

He also noted that usually, the Navy would “identify more specifically what the misconduct is. I can't imagine what they think was conduct unbecoming.” 

“The whole point of DMED data is to compile information about the health of the total force with no personal medical information in it,” Younts said. “You can get this information through a FOIA request.” 

Navy Spokesperson Commander Jessica L. McNulty, of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, told Just the News on Sunday regarding the investigation into Macie, "The incident is currently under investigation, and as a matter of policy, the Navy does not comment on ongoing investigations." 

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