GOP Sen. Johnson presses Defense Department for info on COVID vaccine's impact on service members
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson this week demanded that the Department of Defense account for any potential damage the COVID-19 vaccines may have done to American service members.
"Over the last year, I have heard from countless individuals across the country who have suffered life-altering injuries after receiving COVID-19 vaccines," Johnson wrote in a Monday letter to Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place. "My office has also been in contact with many men and woman of the U.S. military who have shared their concerns about the Department of Defense's (DoD) pointless and harmful COVID-19 vaccine policy."
"Unfortunately, despite the unprecedented number of adverse events and deaths associated with the COVID-19 vaccines on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, this administration has failed to provide full and transparent information on vaccine safety to Congress and to the public," the senator lamented.
The Armed Force's COVID-19 vaccine mandate will expire upon President Joe Biden's signing of the National Defense Authorization Act. Congress rescinded the mandate over the objections of both Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Nonetheless, Johnson seeks to account for the damage the mandate may have already done, and has asked Gen. Place to provide him with the total number of claims and hospitalizations filed with Tricare, the military's health coverage provider, since 2017. He also sought a myriad of additional documentation regarding other non-COVID-19 related claims.
Moreover, Johnson asked for the number of COVID-19 related claims, along with data relating to the types of treatments and number of fatalities, since 2020. Johnson further seeks data on the total number of vaccinated servicemembers and the number of deaths among them after receiving the shot.
The Republican gave Place until Jan. 9 of 2023 to produce the desired materials.
Johnson's letter comes amid the publication of a new, non-peer-reviewed study from the Cleveland Clinic questioning vaccine efficacy and even presenting a higher likelihood of infection with the receipt of each additional dose.