Florida’s TAMPA (WFLA) — The Florida Supreme Court has granted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to appoint a grand jury to look into claims of injury from the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna and has now ordered the state to do so.
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On Dec. 13, while co-hosting a roundtable discussion on vaccine accountability with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, DeSantis first disclosed his plans for his petition. The 13th Judicial Circuit’s Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta was chosen to preside. In addition to the grand jury petition, DeSantis also disclosed the formation of the Public Health Integrity Committee, a new state-level health advisory group to be chaired by Ladapo and comprised of the following individuals:
- Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD
- Martin Kuldorff, PhD
- Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, PhD
- Joseph Fraiman, MD
- Christine Stabell Benn, MD, PhD
- Bret Weinstein, PhD
- Steven Templeton, PhD
DeSantis claimed in the request for the grand jury that “individuals and companies with an interest to do so creat[ing] these notions for financial gain” were behind the push for the mRNA vaccinations, which the federal government had mandated for use during the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to the order, the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling was not unanimous among the justices. Justice Jorge Labarga abstained, while Chief Justice Carlos G. Muiz, Justices Charles T. Canady, Ricky Polston, John D. Couriel, and Jamie R. Grosshans voted to appoint the jury. The most recent addition to the state’s highest court, Justice Renatha Francis, abstained from voting.
The recently-approved panel will also be tasked with looking into what Florida officials call “representations” that the vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna would end the pandemic and stop COVID-19 virus transmission.
The state is now doubting the veracity of those promises. In addition to charges including “fraud or deceit,” the petition stated that investigations would concentrate on violations of the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, and other laws.
According to additional information provided by the governor’s office, the empaneled jury will look into crimes and wrongdoing involving the COVID-19 vaccines in Florida, the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s refusal to “release patient-level data for independent researchers.”