GOP Lawmaker Probes Biden’s Vaccine Pressure On FDA

Since regaining a majority in the chamber, House Republicans have launched investigations into various policies and actions of the Biden administration.

This week, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) announced that the panel would be probing the White House’s alleged interference in the Food and Drug Administration’s push for COVID-19 vaccine authorization.

He reportedly sent letters to Drs. Marion Gruber and Philip Krause, who resigned from their jobs at the FDA after Biden instructed Americans in August 2021 to receive a booster shot of vaccines that were still being offered only under emergency-use authorization.

Asserting that the president’s action “put undue pressure on FDA health officials to quickly authorize the vaccinations,” Massie is seeking a range of documents to help shed light on the extent of the administration’s campaign to influence the agency.

Specifically, he is requesting data from the FDA’s approval process for vaccines and boosters, information related to the resignation of both doctors, and a list of everyone who has worked for the agency’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review since the beginning of 2020.

Massie also sent a letter to Dr. Peter Marks, who took over at the helm of the OVRR.

“Dr. Gruber and Dr. Krause reportedly felt that the White House was getting ahead of the FDA on booster shots and disagreed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) involvement in FDA decisions,” he wrote. “You replaced Dr. Gruber as acting director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR). Accordingly, we believe that you possess information relating to this matter, and we request your assistance with our inquiry.”

After leaving the FDA, where he had worked for more than three decades, Gruber accepted a position as vice president of public health and regulatory science at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Krause is currently serving on the board of directors for Mesoblast Inc.

“Congress has an obligation to examine these facts to understand the sufficiency of existing federal statutes and to assess the Executive Branch’s execution of these statutes,” Massie wrote in support of the panel’s probe. “Pursuant to the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction to conduct oversight of matters concerning ‘civil liberties’ and ‘administrative practice and procedures’ to inform potential legislative reforms.”

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