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Tipsheet

DeSantis Announces Major Move Against COVID Vaccine Makers

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday that he was seeking a grand jury investigation into the way COVID-19 vaccines were marketed and promoted and whether wrongdoing occurred. 

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"It is against the law to mislead and to misrepresent, particularly when you're talking about the efficacy of a drug," DeSantis said on Tuesday. 

"Just recently, Florida got $3.2 billion through legal action against those responsible for the opioid crisis," he noted of previous legal action to hold drugmakers and drug sellers accountable. "It's not like this is something that is unprecedented," DeSantis said of his efforts to probe COVID-19 vaccines and the way they were presented to Floridians.

"Today, I'm announcing a petition with the Supreme Court of Florida to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate any and all wrongdoing in Florida with respect to COVID-19 vaccines," DeSantis said.  

"We anticipate that we will get the approval for that," DeSantis explained of his petition. The grand jury, DeSantis expects, "will be something that will be impaneled mostly likely in the Tampa Bay area." 

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DeSantis added that the grand jury "will come with legal processes that will be able to get more information" about any wrongdoing, and will "bring legal accountability for those who committed misconduct," he said. 

The announcement on Tuesday is a follow-through on a promise Governor DeSantis made earlier in December when he pledged that his administration would "work to hold these manufacturers accountable for this mRNA [vaccine] because they said there was no side effects and we know that there have been a lot," DeSantis said of his plan to "bring some accountability" for COVID-19 vaccine makers, namely Pfizer and Moderna who produced the mRNA vaccines. 

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