A group of medical professionals and at least one GOP lawmaker are pushing back on the Food and Drug Administration’s startling lengthy timeline to produce requested data about the Pfizer vaccine.
Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the data, which the FDA at first said would take 55 years to produce at 500 pages per month for the entire 329,000 page cache of documents.
Now the FDA is asking a judge to give it 75 years to produce the data, saying there’s over 59,000 more pages than weren’t mentioned in the first request. That would take the full release to 2096, wrote Aaron Siri, a lawyer working on the case.
"If you find what you are reading difficult to believe — that is because it is dystopian for the government to give Pfizer billions, mandate Americans to take its product, prohibit Americans from suing for harms, but yet refuse to let Americans see the data underlying its licensure," he wrote.
The medical group is suing to speed things up.
The group says the data should be made public quickly because the FDA spent only 108 days reviewing it before granting emergency use authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — and because vaccine mandates are being issued by local and federal entities, Epoch Times reported.
"The entire purpose of FOIA is government transparency. In multiple recent cases, in upholding the FOIA’s requirement to 'make the records promptly available,' courts have required agencies, including the FDA, to produce 10,000 or more pages per month, and those cases did not involve a request nearly this important — i.e., the data underlying licensure of a liability-free product that the federal government requires nearly all Americans to receive," Siri said.
"As the present pandemic rages on, independent review of these documents by outside scientists is urgently needed to assist with addressing the shortcomings and issues with the response to the pandemic to date."
In its own brief, the FDA argues its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which maintains the records, has just 10 staff members. Each line of each page must be reviewed to ensure proper redactions are applied, the filing says.
A faster rate than that requested would divert "significant resources away from the processing of other FOIA requests that are also in litigation," and requests that came in before the request in question, the agency said, adding, "In sum, FDA’s proposed processing schedule is fair to plaintiff."
On Dec. 2, Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., introduced a bill calling for the head of the FDA to release all records about the vaccine in 100 days.
"Since the Biden administration is hell-bent on forcing these vaccine mandates on us, the public has every right to know how this vaccine was approved, especially in such a short amount of time," he said in a statement. "After all, the FDA managed to consider all 329,000 pages of data and grant emergency approval of the Pfizer vaccine within just 108 days."
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