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(LifeSiteNews) — A Pentagon official has confirmed that myocarditis cases spiked in the U.S. military in 2021, when COVID jab mandates took effect.

Cases of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, in the U.S. military reportedly surged to 275 cases in 2021, a 151 percent increase from the annual average from 2016 to 2020, according to Gilbert Cisneros Jr., undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, in a confirmation of data that a whistleblower revealed to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in March.

Myocarditis typically impairs heart function and can cause abnormal heart rhythms. In severe cases, it can lead to congestive heart failure and death.

While Cisneros affirms the general trend shown by data taken from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), his breakdown of those numbers has been called into question. 

Cisneros maintains that in 2021, 69.8 percent of those who had been infected with the COVID virus experienced myocarditis, compared to 21.7 percent of service members who had received the COVID injections.

“This suggests that it was more likely to be [COVID-19] infection and not COVID-19 vaccination that was the cause,” he remarked, according to The Epoch Times.

Senator Johnson noted, however, in a letter to Cisneros, “It is unclear whether or how it accounted for service members who had a prior COVID-19 infection and received a COVID-19 vaccination.”

The senator chided the Department of Defense (DoD) for providing his office with “incomplete and misleading DMED data.”

In his letter, Johnson highlighted discrepancies between whistleblowers’ data analysis, which showed in August 2021 that military myocarditis cases skyrocketed to 2,868 percent higher than the 2016-2020 average, and that of the DoD.

When the same data from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) was downloaded later, the number of logged 2021 myocarditis cases had plunged from 1,239 to 263, causing concerns that the data had been manipulated.

Military officials claimed that the data from the years 2016 to 2020 had been “corrupted” during a “database maintenance process,” causing a display of only 10 percent of medical encounters during that period.

Officials told Johnson that a dramatic reduction in the reported rate of adverse reactions reflected a correction of the data, such as a change from a 2,181 percent increase in hypertension in 2021 to an increase of only 1.9 percent.

Another whistleblower subsequently came forward to show that the military’s updated numbers were faulty. For example, the rate of testicular cancer among the military was initially indicated to have increased 369 percent, and then only 3 percent, according to officials. The whistleblower found, however, that the actual increase was 16.3 percent.

The whistleblower alerted Johnson to the discrepancies, leading the senator to write to military officials seeking answers.

“DoD’s failure to provide my office with complete DMED data or immediately disclose relevant limitations to information it produced to Congress shows a complete disregard for transparency,” wrote Johnson.

Cardiologist and COVID-19 expert Dr. Peter McCullough’s analysis is also at odds with the DoD’s claim that COVID infection and not “vaccination” is the most likely contributor to the military’s spike in myocarditis cases.

“The large increase in myocarditis cases in our military in 2021 was most likely due to ill-advised COVID-19 vaccination,” McCullough told The Epoch Times, highlighting a study from Israel that found no increase of myocarditis in unjabbed COVID-19 patients.

Multiple studies have found that COVID-19 shots increase the risk of heart inflammation, including a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-sponsored study that concedes that the jab increases the risk of myocarditis in children.

In June, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) scientists published a letter to the editor in Medical Research Archives denouncing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA for having “hid evidence and lied to the public” about the connection between the COVID-19 “vaccines” and myocarditis.

Dr. McCullough, who remains the most published individual in his field, has also been a firm and steady critic of the CDC’s characterization of COVID jab-induced myocarditis cases as “rare” and “mild,” insisting that the heart condition has “never been mild.”

The Epoch Times has observed that military members were “among the first in the world” to link the COVID jabs with myocarditis. As early as April 2021, the DoD was tracking 14 cases of heart inflammation in military members who developed the condition after COVID “vaccination.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated the COVID injections for active military in 2021, forcing thousands of service members out of the military due to their refusal to receive the experimental shots.

READ: Tens of thousands of Army Reservists, National Guardsmen face discharge for refusing COVID shots

A case study was also published in June 2021 identifying 22 “previously healthy” military members who developed myocarditis within four days of a COVID mRNA injection.

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Pete Chambers, who served as a military liaison to Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s task force on the COVID response, testified in the documentary film Unseen Crisis that he began to notice officers “coming in with chest pain, with shortness of breath, [and] with stroke-like symptoms” after the COVID shot was mandated.

“I’ve seen one heart attack in my career, and now we’re seeing them regularly,” he shared.