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U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis once again convened a panel of medical experts this month to dissect the failings of the medical establishment, this time in response to a Florida grand jury’s first batch of findings on the federal COVID-19 response.

In December 2022, the governor petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to approve a grand jury to investigate the manufacturing and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. On February 2, the grand jury released its first interim report, which determined that before assessing the vaccine it first had to understand the risk posed by COVID itself. To that end, the first report instead focused on a wealth of conclusions about the virus and the policies the medical establishment embraced ostensibly to stop it, namely lockdowns and mask mandates.

The first report concluded that lockdowns did more harm than good, that masks were ineffective at stopping COVID transmission, that COVID was “statistically almost harmless” to children and most adults, and that it is “highly likely” that COVID hospitalization numbers were inflated.

On February 9, DeSantis, the nation’s foremost opponent of the COVID establishment among elected officeholders, hosted a roundtable discussion with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo and members of Florida’s Public Health Integrity Committee (PHIC) to discuss the report.

“During the pandemic, we threw away the basic principles of public health,” said Harvard epidemiologist and biostatistician Dr. Martin Kulldorff. He declared the “verdict is in” that “lockdowns were a huge mistake,” while noting that related abandonments of principle are ongoing, particularly in the medical establishment’s unwillingness to engage contrary views: “If a scientist is not willing to provide their views and debate other scientists or to provide their views to a grand jury, then I don’t think they have any credibility to say anything about public health.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) “and other bodies ignored basic science, used their power to silence scientists that didn’t agree with them, and subverted high-quality evidence to make decisions,” agreed Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, noting that the Biden administration in 2021 cut funding for monoclonal antibodies, which DeSantis had ordered for Floridians. “Now, I don’t know for sure, but it looked to me like one political party trying to hurt members of another political party.” 

“There have been some accounting tricks used to make COVID-19 seem more dangerous than it really was,” concluded evolutionary biologist Dr. Bret Weinstein. “There is something odd that a fundamental principle of public health was thrown under the bus […] The normal systems of science and medicine and governance were all frustrated here by a process in which something dressed as public health was used to institute restrictions on people that were not based in science or proper thinking about personal health.”

“The other piece of this that it just drives me as a totally out of step with what we’ve ever done as a medical field is when they recommended the vaccine to to pregnant women off of the bat without really any evidence of of safety, and understand, pregnant women are kept out of vaccine human trials, so they’re recommending this without any evidence or even knowing what it will do to pregnant women,” observed Dr. Joseph Fraiman, a Louisiana emergency medicine physician. 

He lamented that, despite how widely known it is that mistakes were made, “we’re not seeing a nation come together on what we did wrong,” and expressed hope that “the grand jury can offer our country guidance on how to organize our government and how to handle events like this in the future.”

Dr. Steven Templeton, a microbiologist and immunologist at Indiana University, was more pessimistic. “Spotlight needs to be shown on the federal agencies and their actions during the pandemic. That needs to come from the highest level possible, and that’s not happening,” he said. “I don’t think [the federal government] has an appetite right now to address these problems, and I don’t think there is going to be an appetite anytime soon for it.”

A large body of evidence has found that mass restrictions on personal and economic activity undertaken in 2020 and part of 2021 caused far more harm than good, in terms of personal freedom and economics as well as public health, and that lives could have been saved through far less burdensome methods, such as the promotion of established therapeutic drugs, narrower protections focused on those most at risk (such as the elderly and infirm), and increasing vitamin D intake. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has called America’s COVID response measures as “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country,” against which Congress, state legislatures, and courts alike were largely negligent to protect constitutional rights, personal liberty, and the rule of law.

Evidence has also shown that forcing Americans to wear face coverings in the presence of others was similarly ineffective. Among that evidence is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) September 2020 admission that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone. All told, more than 170 studies have found that masks have been ineffective at stopping COVID while instead being harmful, especially to children, who evidence finds face little to no danger from COVID itself. By contrast, evidence suggests that ability to see faces is critical for early development.

As for the COVID vaccines, which were developed and reviewed in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take under former President (and likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee) Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, the public health establishment’s aversion to considering them anything but “safe and effective” has not dulled concerns that persist thanks to a large body of evidence affirming they carry significant health risks.

The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports 37,100 deaths, 214,248 hospitalizations, 21,431 heart attacks, and 28,121 myocarditis and pericarditis cases as of January 26, among other ailments. Jab defenders are quick to stress that reports submitted to VAERS are unconfirmed, as anyone can submit one, but CDC researchers have recognized a “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than overreporting.

Further, VAERS is not the only data source containing red flags. Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) shows that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, (487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).

U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates