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Tipsheet

Florida Supreme Court Approves DeSantis's Request for COVID Vaccine Grand Jury

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The Florida Supreme Court gave the OK to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate potential wrongdoing by COVID-19 vaccine makers.

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“A statewide grand jury shall be promptly impaneled for a term of twelve calendar months, to run from the date of impanelment, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses stated herein,” the court order states.

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta will preside over the grand jury.

In submitting the request, DeSantis alleged “there are good and sufficient reasons to deem it to be in the public interest to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate criminal or wrongful activity in Florida relating to the development, promotion, and distribution of vaccines purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.”

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He added: “It is against the law to mislead and to misrepresent, particularly when you're talking about the efficacy of a drug." 

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Chief Justice Carlos Muniz and Justices Charles Canady, Ricky Polston, John Couriel and Jamie Grosshans all gave DeSantis’ request the green light. Justice Jorge Labarga opposed it.

DeSantis also announced earlier this month the establishment of a Public Health Integrity Committee that will assess federal decisions and recommendations on public health measures. Additionally, there will be more surveillance efforts on the sudden deaths of people who received the vaccine. 

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