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GOP Sen. Johnson demands CDC hand over data on COVID vaccine side effects

Johnson gave the agency until Jan. 17 to comply with his request.

Published: January 11, 2023 3:05pm

Updated: January 11, 2023 3:27pm

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has repeated his demand that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supply him with complete data on the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, alleging that the agency has withheld material information from his office.

"Since June 2022, despite multiple requests for information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly failed to provide my office with complete data regarding its surveillance of COVID-19 vaccine adverse events," reads Johnson's Tuesday letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Johnson has previously sought the agency's data regarding Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR) analyses that could help to identify potential side effects. The senator contends in the letter that the CDC has ignored his requests for information or only partially complied with them.

He further pointed to an Epoch Times report publishing some of the very data he requested, asserting that the PRR tables the Time published showing "hundreds of adverse events" "appear to be responsive to my previous letters," before questioning why the CDC has withheld the same data from him.

Johnson also recalled a previous reply he received from the CDC claiming that the PRR analyses revealed "no additional unexpected safety signals," which then contrasted with the "hundreds of adverse events" the Times highlighted in that data. The Wisconsin lawmaker demanded the CDC define "unexpected safety signals" and reconcile the disparate interpretations of the data.

"The American people have a right to know the extent to which your agency was aware of and tracked COVID-19 vaccine adverse events. Your lack of transparency is unacceptable," he continued. "Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight and leaving the public in the dark."

Johnson gave the agency until Jan. 17 to comply with his request.

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