By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
FORT WORTH (Worthy News) – A U.S. federal judge in Texas has ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to publish all data used to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine within eight months.
That’s roughly 75 years and four months faster than the regulatory agency said it could take to complete a Freedom of Information Act request by a non-profit group of doctors and scientists.
The Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT) demanded about 450,000 pages of material from the FDA about the vaccine.
The FDA—citing staffing issues—reportedly agreed to release 12,000 pages by the end of January and a “minimum” of 500 pages a month going forward.
But doctors and scientists suing the agency argued that with this speed, it could take till 2097 before all the vaccine documents would be made public.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Aaron Siri, called it “dystopian for the government to give Pfizer billions, mandate Americans to take its product, prohibit Americans from suing for harm, but yet refuse to let Americans see the data underlying its licensure.”
The court agreed as “this [Freedom Of Information Act] FOIA request is of paramount public importance,” wrote U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth, Texas.
Pittman, appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump in 2019, demanded that all documents be released by September this year.
The judge cited late U.S. Senator John McCain, who said that excessive administrative secrecy “feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in the government.”
The FDA warned that the ruling would mean that 10 employees dealing with these issues would have to work non-stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to produce the 55,000 pages a month (and would still fall slightly short).
Lawyer Siri countered that the FDA as of 2020 had 18,062 employees and that some could pitch in and come to “the side of transparency and accountability.”
The PHMPT pledged to publish all the information they receive from the FDA on their website.
The group comprises more than 200 doctors, scientists, professors, and public health professionals, including some who publicly questioned the efficacy of lockdown policies, mask mandates, and the vaccine itself.
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