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Just the News sues Biden administration to force disclosure of COVID-19 vaccine safety data

Suit alleges government has been keeping records of COVID-19 reactions in a back-end, private system separate from the publicly available Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Published: February 29, 2024 11:39am

Updated: February 29, 2024 4:06pm

Just the News on Thursday sued the Biden administration in federal court seeking to force the disclosure of COVID-19 safety data that is being kept outside the government’s normal adverse events reporting system.

In the lawsuit filed in partnership with the America First Legal public interest law firm, Just the News asked the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to order the Department of Health and Human Services to comply with two Freedom of Information Act requests to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking COVID-19 reactions data kept in a back-end, nonpublic system to the nation’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

VAERS is the nation’s repository for all reports of patients suffering reactions or adverse events – up to and including death – after receiving vaccines.

The suit quoted government officials, news articles and private-sector scientists working with the government on VAERS data who stated publicly there is a private database affiliated with VAERS that includes data that is not accessible to the public but includes important safety information specifically on COVID-19 jabs.

“The public-facing database contains only initial reports, while the private, back-end system contains all updates and corrections – such as a formal diagnosis, recovery, or death,” the lawsuit explained.

You can read the full lawsuit here:

ECF 001 - Solomon v. HHS, Complaint.pdf


John Solomon, the CEO and editor-in-chief of Just the News, said his organization is pursuing the data because medical safety has always been predicated on the notion that the government would provide full transparency about vaccines so patients can make the most informed decision on getting inoculations.

"The government's vaccine safety data has always been a record of public import,” Solomon said. “Unfortunately, in the era of COVID, there is evidence and suggestions that a second set of safety books were being kept. There is no reason for the agencies to keep this vital safety data from the American public.

“As journalists, we at Just the News are grateful for the extraordinary help of America First Legal in trying to formally identify this data, free it from its current bureaucratic obfuscation and release it for the public's benefit,” he also said.

Reed D. Rubinstein, America First Legal senior vice president, said the government’s lack of transparency about COVID-19 vaccines is breeding mistrust.

“The bureaucrats’ refusal to come clean about their botched COVID-19 response erodes trust in our government and thus damages public health,” Rubinstein said. “Without transparency, trust cannot be restored, and without accountability, mistakes cannot be corrected. The stonewalled information must be produced.”

The lawsuit provided the court a powerful example of the type of information that is currently not being given the public in the VAERs because it is kept in the backend system, according to information published recently by the major medical journal publishing company BMJ.

“The public VAERS database reportedly did not include an autopsy examiner’s conclusion that the death of a 15-year-old boy was caused by ‘stress cardiomyopathy following [his] second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine,’” the suit said.

Just the News filed FOIA requests for the back-end data with both the FDA and the CDC on Jan.6. The FDA assigned a control number for its request but never complied with providing any data, the suit said.

The CDC came back in February declining to provide any data, claiming the requested information “fell under the jurisdiction of the [FDA]” and “referred Mr. Solomon’s initial request to FDA and administratively closed the initial request,” the suit stated.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who has held hearings on concerns and public mistrust about COVID-19 vaccines, told Just the News earlier this month that drug companies and their allies in the regulatory agencies have been so invested in the success of MRNA vaccines technology and the profits of the COVID-19 vaccines that he fears they are keeping negative information from coming to light.

“They're going to continue to cover up the real the damage being done by these what I would consider now very dangerous, very suspect mRNA vaccines,” he said.

Drugmakers, the FDA and CDC have acknowledged there is evidence of adverse events like myocarditis – inflammation of the heart – but that such affects are rare  and shouldn’t scare Americans from getting the shots.

In fact, the CDC recommended Wednesday that Americans over the age of 65 should get an additional vaccine booster in 2024.

“Adults 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with more than half of COVID-19 hospitalizations during October 2023 to December 2023 occurring in this age group,” the agency said.

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