DeSantis faces pushback after seeking grand jury investigation of COVID-19 vaccines – WCTV

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Governor DeSantis announced Tuesday he would call for a grand jury probe to investigate possible wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 vaccine, sparking pushback from top health officials.
“I think people want the truth,” DeSantis said during a roundtable discussion shortly before making the announcement. “And I think people want accountability, so you need to have a thorough investigation.”
DeSantis asked to investigate those involved in developing, distributing, or promoting the shot. In a 20-page petition, he suggested that Moderna and Pfizer downplayed the risk of side effects and exaggerated how effective the vaccines were.
“A lot of false statements that were made over the last year and a half, almost two years, saying that it would end COVID, saying you won’t get infected,” DeSantis said.
Katherine Drabiak, an associate professor at the University of South Florida who specializes in public health law and medical ethics, said the purpose of an investigation would be to determine whether criminal charges could be filed.
“This grand jury stage is a way of testing the waters and gathering information,” she said.
DeSantis received pushback from several Florida lawmakers, who accused the governor of spreading disinformation and eroding public confidence in the vaccine. In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci also pushed back, saying that the vaccine is safe and effective and has saved millions of lives.
If the grand jury is granted, Drabiak said the process will be slow, taking a year or more to be completed.
“It might be a while until we even hear anything about this,” she said. “But it will be an interesting process to watch play out.”
After an investigation, the next step would be for a prosecutor to decide whether or not to bring charges against those in question.
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