Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) are leading a GOP call for investigations into “politically motivated” decisions made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter exclusively obtained by The Epoch Times, Roy and Biggs, joined by Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) called on Republican leaders to add the issue to a growing list of potential investigations if Republicans take the House.
The letter is addressed to Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and
Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.).
The letter comes in the wake of a unanimous vote by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to add COVID-19 vaccines to the standard immunization schedule for children.
All members of the ACIP voted to add the Moderna, Pfizer, and Novavax vaccines to the 2023 schedules, asserting that the vaccines, despite waning effectiveness, can still prevent severe disease. While technically the vote was only a recommendation, that recommendation is highly likely to be approved by the CDC.
This vote came after a Pfizer executive admitted that their COVID-19 vaccines were not tested for preventing transmission.
“We view this as COVID is here to stay,” said Dr. Matthew Daley, one of the advisers on the ACIP. “When I think about the routine immunization schedule as a pediatrician, I think of it as an opportunity to prevent serious disease and death. And if something is added to the schedule, it’s because I feel like the benefits continue to strongly outweigh the risks.”
This decision, Biggs and Roy warned, will continue to undermine Americans’ freedom and protect vaccine manufacturers from legal liability.
“This decision is concerning for multiple reasons and will only put the well-being of American families with school-aged children at further risk of their healthcare freedom while protecting pharmaceutical companies from any liability related to vaccine injuries,” the lawmakers wrote.
In response to the decision, Roy and Biggs called for the CDC to be added to a growing list of federal agencies to be investigated for misconduct by Republicans.
“If Republicans are once again entrusted with the majority of the House of Representatives, congressional committees with oversight of the CDC should immediately begin investigations, host hearings, and hold accountable those involved in politically motivated decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” the duo wrote. “This latest decision is but just one example.”
Citing several statistics showing that children are at minimal risk from the disease, and in some cases are more at risk from the vaccine, Roy and Biggs called the recommendation by the ACIP “unwarranted.”
“The decision to include such a revision in the childhood immunization schedule is unwarranted,” the lawmakers wrote.
For instance, the lawmakers noted CDC statistics showing that those aged 0–17 years old infected with COVID are at minimal risk for hospitalizations, with rates of hospitalization never exceeding 4.8 percent throughout the pandemic. During several months, hospitalization rates for 0–17-year-olds were as low as 0.3 percent according to the same data.
Further, the lawmakers cited evidence from medical studies showing that children aged 0–19 years had a 0.0003 percent mortality rate from COVID-19, or three deaths per million infections. Other research showed that in 100 percent of cases, children who died from COVID-19 had co-morbidities.
Additionally, the lawmakers warned, “studies show that children have an increased risk to COVID-19 vaccine side effects.”
After a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, one study found, boys aged 12–17 years were more likely to have an adverse cardiac event than to be hospitalized.
In men under the age of 40, another study showed, incidents of myocarditis—inflammation of the heart muscle—were more likely after a second dose of the vaccine than after getting COVID-19 itself.
Further adding to the dubitability of claims about vaccine safety, Biggs and Roy noted, is information from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
VAERS data shows that as of Oct. 14, 2022, there have been 57,166 reports of adverse events in children after they were given the vaccine. Of those, there are 161 reported deaths, 528 reported permanent disabilities, and 1,962 cases of myocarditis.
Despite research showing that natural immunity is more effective for preventing transmission of COVID-19 among children than vaccines, Biggs and Roy noted, “the CDC does not have guidance including natural immunity for this age.”
‘CDC Guidance Has Been Wrong Before’
Biggs and Roy also warned against too readily accepting CDC guidance, noting that past CDC recommendations have had devastating consequences on children’s mental health.
“CDC guidance has been wrong before—leading to terrible outcomes for children,” the duo wrote.
The Manhattan Institute estimates that guidance from the CDC calling for school closures led to around 100,000 public schools shuttering in-person classes for at least eight weeks.
Because of the consequences these decisions had on children’s development, Biggs and Roy said, “We now face a devastating mental health and substance abuse crisis among America’s youth.”
In 2020, CDC data shows, 1,006 teenagers died from drug- or alcohol-related causes—nearly twice as many as died in 2019. By contrast, 199 people under the age of 17 died from COVID-19 that year.
‘Actively Misled the American People’
Further, Biggs and Roy accused the CDC of misleading the American people.
“The CDC has also actively misled the American people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.
The lawmakers cited the CDC’s controversial decision to change the definition of “vaccine” from “producing immunity” to “producing protection.”
In March 2022, the agency also chose to withhold hospitalization data by vaccine status, saying that the data might be misinterpreted. In June, the CDC reportedly decided to withhold information about the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals out of “fears of embarrassing the hospitals.”
In view of these factors, Biggs and Roy called for CDC leaders to be “questioned and fully scrutinized by Congress.”
“This recent decision by the CDC to include COVID-19 vaccines in the childhood vaccine schedule—and thereby pressuring states to implement this recommendation—should be questioned and fully scrutinized by Congress,” they wrote.
“No child should ever be faced with losing his or her education over a clearly and undeniably politicized vaccine,” they continued. “Every parent should have the full freedom to choose whether it makes sense for his or her child to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Decisions such as these are personal and do not require the ‘recommendation’ of the federal government.”
In closing, the lawmakers wrote: “As you consider the numerous failures of the public health apparatus, we strongly urge you to immediately investigate and hold to account the people responsible for brazen political decisions with the potential to impact our children with irreversible harm.
“The U.S. government should respect the decisions of American families, and not pressure States to issue an ultimatum that jeopardizes children’s access to primary and secondary education. Congress should ensure this is the case.”
The proposal by Roy and Biggs is the most recent in a line of potential investigations that Republicans could pursue if they retake the House.
Other proposed investigations could look into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) role in leaving the Capitol unprepared on Jan. 6, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s handling of southern border security, and Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.