Gov. DeSantis calls for grand jury to investigate COVID-19 vaccines and possible fraudulent claims

DeSantis wants the grand jury impaneled for at least one year, possibly 18 months.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the state Supreme Court to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate crimes and wrongdoings the pharmaceutical industry may have committed against the state’s residents regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Governor made the announcement, along with news that he was establishing a Public Health Integrity Committee, after holding a roundtable discussing purported adverse events — such as coagulation disorders, acute cardiac injuries, Bell’s palsy, encephalitis, appendicitis and shingles — as a result of the mRNA vaccines.

The Public Health Integrity Committee will be overseen by State Surgeon General and Department of Health Secretary Joseph Ladapo and will have seven members. The goal of the committee is to tailor federal guidance and recommendations to ensure they reflect the state’s priorities for Florida communities.

DeSantis is asking the Supreme Court to impanel a statewide grand jury for at least a year, and possibly up to 18 months, according to the petition.

For the  “convenience” of prospective grand jury witnesses, law enforcement officers, and others, DeSantis is asking the state’s high court to designate Florida’s 5th, 6th, 10th, 12th and 13th judicial circuits as the “home base” for the grand jury.

DeSantis said in the petition that he chose those locations because they are easily accessible.

Meanwhile, the statewide prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office will serve as the legal advisor to the statewide grand jury. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will serve as the primary investigator for the group, though the petition makes clear that the statewide grand jury may seek the assistance of “any law enforcement entity or agency in Florida.”

The Governor wants the grand jury to examine including a law that prohibits fraudulent practices, including the dissemination of false or misleading advertisements of a drug and the use of any representation or suggestion in any advertisement relating to a drug that an application of a drug is effective when it is not.

“The pharmaceutical industry has a notorious history of misleading the public for financial gain. Questions have been raised regarding the veracity of the representation made by the pharmaceutical manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly with respect to transmission, prevention, efficacy and safety,” the petition notes.

“An investigation is warranted to determine whether the pharmaceutical industry has engaged in fraudulent practices. The people of Florida deserve to know the truth.”

The Tuesday morning announcement came after DeSantis, during a Republican holiday gathering at the Governor’s mansion earlier this month, told a group that “we are going to hold these manufacturers accountable for this mRNA, because they said there are no side effects, and we know there have been a lot.”

DeSantis cited an analysis released by Ladapo in October about an increased risk of cardiac-related deaths among males 18-39 after taking a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. That analysis has drawn sharp criticism from medical experts as flawed.

In addition to impaneling a grand jury and establishing the ethics committee, DeSantis announced the state is collaborating with the University of Florida, where Ladapo is on contract, to compare Florida research into the sudden deaths of individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine with studies done in other countries.

Ladapo said in a prepared statement that DeSantis’ actions “will shed light on the forces that have obscured truthful communication about the COVID-19 vaccines.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Elliott Offen

    December 13, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Mini Hitler is out of control. God and baby Jesus save us. Don’t know why people move here. Probably because of cheap slaves.

  • trump lost

    December 13, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Anything to distract from actual health concerns, like Florida’s middling ranking for overall health and ABSOLUTELY TRAGIC number of citizens without health insurance.

  • Tallahassee Insider

    December 13, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    I know for an absolute fact that he’s vaccinated and twice boosted against Covid-19.

    This is all theater for the most insane members of the Republican base, but will most assuredly backfire against him on the National State if he runs for President.

    I’m also starting to think those syphilis rumors about him are true.

  • PeterH

    December 13, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    DeSantis was for COVID vaccines before he was against them!

    DeSantis made a COVID vaccine priority list long before he proceeded with his campaign of COVID stupidity!

    Anything to pander to his ante-vax morons!

  • Yrral

    December 14, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Desantis is nuttier than , unwanted fruitcake

  • Virginia

    December 14, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Let’s convene a medical review panel that summarizes the numerous studies, from all over the world, that support vaccinations for most people for the protection of all. DeSantis needs to focus on the needs of Florida rather than his need to appeal to Trump’s uneducated followers by yelling “fraud” in a crowded electoral field.

  • SteveHC

    December 14, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Fake fake ignoramus DeSantis (he’s Ivy League educated but deliberately tries to speak as if he weren’t so as to attract votes from the bottom, being the bottom-feeder that he is) strikes again! Let’s hope The Court decides to not waste time and taxpayers’ money on this latest insane political grandstanding scheme of his.

Comments are closed.


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