WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in his 36and seek answers regarding the federal government‘s response to COVID-19.
There have been an increasing number of reports of adverse events in people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. These concerning reports have not resulted in health agencies taking action, seeking explanations, or sharing this information with the American people. The response was instead from Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, “What, am I worried?”
In February 2022, Andreas Schofbeck, board member of BKK ProVita (BKK), a health insurance company that insures almost 11 million people in Germany, estimated that up to 3 million Germans had received medical treatment due to adverse events following vaccination against COVID-19. In January 2022, Scott Davison, chief executive of OneAmerica, an Indiana-headquartered insurance company, reported a 40% increase in death rates among working-age people aged 18-64 in the United States. third quarter of 2021. Before the pandemic, Mr Davison said a 10% rise was a “once-in-200-year disaster”, so the 40% rise is “unheard of”. In November 2021, Department of Defense (DoD) whistleblowers raised concerns about an apparent significant increase in recorded military medical diagnoses.
The senator wrote“Reported DMED data and OneAmerica and BKK ProVita insurance data should increase concern about adverse event reports in VAERS that are currently ignored. Even as reports of adverse events following vaccination continue to grow , federal health officials continue to ignore or downplay these alarming indicators.
Senator Johnson has written 36 letters to our federal health agencies about the mishandling of COVID-19, lack of transparency, adverse events, lack of early treatment, vaccination mandates and the freedom of Health care.
Read more about the letter in The Federalist.
The full text of the letter is available here and below.
March 23, 2022
Dear Secretary Becerra, Dr. Califf, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky:
To date, I have written 35 letters to the executive branch asking about the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal government’s response to it. The grossly inadequate response to my legitimate surveillance demonstrates a level of arrogance toward the American public that is unacceptable. In particular, the lack of transparency by federal health agencies has eroded public trust in the agencies you represent, which will take years, and likely a complete restructuring of them, to repair. Nevertheless, I write to you again to request a response to the development of events.
Data from a number of sources should raise concerns about adverse events related to the global mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19. The extent to which federal health agencies have ignored vaccine safety signals from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is staggering. As of March 18, 2022, VAERS has received 1,183,495 global adverse event reports and 25,641 death reports. Of these deaths, 7382 (28.8%) occurred on day 0, 1 or 2 following vaccination. It’s hard to understand how this growing number of adverse event reports hasn’t led health agencies to thoroughly investigate, take action, and provide detailed explanations to the American people. Instead, we got the response from Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, “What, am I worried?”
In February 2022, Andreas Schofbeck, board member of BKK ProVita (BKK), a health insurance company that insures nearly 11 million people in Germany, reported that BKK customers had suffered more than 216,000 adverse events after vaccination in the data available for 2021. Schofbeck estimates that out of Germany’s entire population of 83 million, up to 3 million Germans have received medical treatment due to adverse events following the COVID-19 vaccination. These figures were significantly higher than the figures from the Paul Ehrlich Institute (Germany’s public health agency), which reported only 244,576 vaccine-related adverse events for the whole country in 2021. In other words, Schofbeck estimates that the actual number of vaccine-related adverse events is 12 times higher than the number reported by the German public health agency. The data prompted Schofbeck to inform the Paul Ehrlich Institute of the potential significant underreporting of adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it appears that the data presented by Mr. Schofbeck was ignored and shortly after raising these concerns, Mr. Schofbeck was fired from BKK.
Mr. Schofbeck’s experience is similar to what I have heard from many people, doctors, and healthcare professionals across the United States. People who offered a different opinion and perspective paid a very high professional price. Not only were they reviled and censured, but they were fired like Mr. Schofbeck for questioning and speaking out against COVID-19 groupthink.
Similarly, disconcerting information was presented in January 2022 by Scott Davison, the chief executive of OneAmerica, an insurance company headquartered in Indiana. Mr Davison reported a 40% increase in death rates for working-age people aged 18 to 64 in the third quarter of 2021. He stated, “[w]We’re seeing, right now, the highest death rates we’ve seen in the history of this company – not just at OneAmerica. Before the pandemic, Mr Davison said a 10% increase was a “once in 200 year disaster”, so the 40% increase is “unprecedented”. Despite these data signaling an unprecedented increase in non-COVID-19 deaths coinciding with the mass vaccination campaign, mainstream media and public health officials appear to have largely ignored this danger signal.
Additionally, in November 2021, Department of Defense (DoD) whistleblowers raised concerns about an apparent significant increase in recorded military medical diagnoses. On January 24, 2022, these whistleblowers presented data from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) that showed a dramatic increase in medical diagnoses in 2021 compared to the previous five years. According to the doctors, their superiors ignored the findings of the DMED. I raised these concerns with Secretary Austin in several letters and he did not respond.
Reported DMED data and OneAmerica and BKK ProVita insurance data should increase concern about adverse event reports in VAERS that are currently ignored. Even as reports of adverse events following vaccination continue to grow, federal health officials continue to ignore or downplay these alarming indicators.
The American people deserve full transparency about the extent to which public health officials are aware of and respond to reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. Accordingly, please provide the following information:
- Is your agency aware of the February 2022 letter from Mr. Schofbeck and data from BKK ProVita regarding potential significant under-reporting of adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine in Germany?
- Has your agency assessed whether the BKK ProVita data on potentially significant underreporting of adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine is accurate?
- There are generally two shortcomings cited for VAERS: 1) VAERS does not prove causation; and 2) VAERS significantly under-reports the number of adverse events (a Harvard study estimated that only 1% of adverse events are reported to VAERS). Data from Germany would indicate that their public vaccine safety reporting system only captures 8.2% of adverse events. What is your current estimate of the percentage of adverse events captured by VAERS?
- What has your agency done to determine if U.S. insurance companies have seen an increase in claims filed for adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine over the past year? What did your agency find? If your agency has not made a decision, please explain why.
- What has your agency done to determine if U.S. insurance companies have seen an increase in claims filed for non-COVID-19 deaths among 18-64 year olds over the past year? What did your agency find? If your agency has not made a decision, please explain why.
- Are you concerned about adverse events reported in VAERS associated with COVID-19 vaccination? If so, please explain what steps, if any, you have taken to address these reports. If not, why are you not concerned about the 1,183,495 reports of adverse events associated with vaccination?
- Why the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is recruiting volunteers to participate in a study of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. What signals or safety data prompted the NIH to undertake this study? When did the NIH become aware of these allergic reactions?
Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than April 6, 2022. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.