Press Releases

The Revolving Door in Public Health: FDA Version

New records shed light on cozy relationship between regulator and anti-tobacco activist organization

(Washington, DC) – Anyone interested in the mechanical workings of the federal government’s revolving door with activist groups should note information The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has uncovered from documents obtained from the Food and Drug Administration via FOIA request.

On August 15, 2023, the anti-tobacco group Truth Initiative announced that Kathy Crosby had been named CEO. Ms. Crosby was at the time Director of the Office of Health Communication and Education at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). While in that job, she was communicating with people on staff at her new employer both before and after the announcement. It’s not her first trip through the revolving door, as Crosby did work for the Trust Initiative in a previous job before her time at CTP.

Of course, any good job hunt begins with networking, and on April 19, 2023, Ms. Crosby reached out to a contact at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (another anti-tobacco group). “I hope you’re well!” she wrote. “Can you please let me know if you’re extending an invitation to any FDA colleagues to attend the 2023 Youth Advocates of the Year celebration this year?” April 19 was the first day CTFK sent out invitations for the event, which was more than a month away.

Ms. Crosby was in luck. CTFK sent her a link to two “complimentary tickets” (typically valued at hundreds of dollars each) to the gala. And they didn’t go to waste. In a May 22 email, Ms. Crosby wrote to Truth Initiative President and CEO Robin Koval, “I didn’t see you at last week’s CTFK gala but I got to catch up with several members of your team, which was awesome. Would you have time to catch up soon? I had a great conversation with [TI Board member] Dr. [Howard] Koh several weeks ago and I’m hoping we can connect.”

As the August announcement confirms, connect they did. Several emails exchanged after the announcement suggest that Ms. Crosby already had strong relationships inside TI. In response to a congratulations message from TI Communications Vice President Sarah Shank, Ms. Crosby wrote: “Most recently a member of my team spoke very highly of you (Dave, if you’re wondering)! I’m very excited and honored to be joining you and the team at TI and am very much looking forward to getting to know you better.”

It’s all very cozy. To avoid even the appearance of partiality in such circumstances government officials must abide by ethics rules covering what they can work on, both while seeking employment outside the government and after reaching an agreement for a job with a new employer.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“There’s a reason taxpayers are troubled by incestuous relationships between government agencies and activist groups and public health agencies are proving to be no exception. These activist groups have business before the agencies – we know, for example that TI lobbies the FDA to increase fines on tobacco product manufacturers and sellers, while also spending millions to advocate for new product bans. It’s a coup for TI to land a CEO who knows her way around the FDA, and it’s a lucrative jump for Ms. Crosby. Unfortunately, it appears to have been arranged and negotiated on the taxpayers’ dime.”

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East Palestine Settlement Doesn’t Erase Government Dysfunction

(Washington, DC) – Today, a settlement for $600 million was reached in a class-action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern. While this is a positive development for those affected by the disaster, there is still much more to do to restore the community of East Palestine. FGI’s investigation of the government’s handling of the disaster so far has revealed a major conflict of interest between an EPA lawyer and the law firm representing Norfolk Southern and the EPA Administrator’s whereabouts the days following the disaster, which included trips to promote electric buses and meetings with Hollywood actor Idris Elba. FGI will continue our investigation so that the American people can know more about what our government is doing.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“This settlement may bring some resolution of this tragic saga for the residents East Palestine. However, it doesn’t change the history of a botched and callous government response: Pete Buttigieg initially refusing to visit the disaster sight, the troubling conflict of interest with an EPA lawyer’s spouse representing Norfolk Southern, and EPA Administrator Regan prioritizing electric buses and foreign trips with celebrities over the residents of East Palestine. The administration’s handling of this disaster presents a clear example of how dysfunctional government can be when those in powerful positions are apparently focused on special-interest agendas and self-promotion instead of the taxpayers they serve.”

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Lead EPA Official Working on East Palestine Claims She Didn’t Know Husband’s Law Firm Reps Norfolk Southern

Agency ethics staff looks away from striking conflict of interest.

(Washington, DC) – Watchdog Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has uncovered records exposing a blatant conflict of interest among a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) involved in the subsequent congressional investigation of the East Palestine train wreck. FGI has learned from FOIA documents that Deputy General Counsel for Environmental Programs and Oversight Natalia Sorgente worked for four months directly on the aftermath of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment before informing the department’s ethics office that her husband’s law firm represented the railroad responsible for the disaster.

The Norfolk Southern derailment and toxic chemical spill that occurred on February 3, 2023, was the centerpiece of national news coverage for nearly a month. On February 21, the EPA legally ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up the spill. Mrs. Sorgente, a Biden appointee, was involved in the EPA response as a senior member of the agency’s Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office (SWERLO) and through her “role working on Congressional oversight.” It was not until June 3, 2023, that she told the Ethics Office about her husband’s connection to the primary target of her agency’s investigation.

Mrs. Sorgente claimed ignorance, asserting that her husband, Joel Millar, hadn’t known his firm, WilmerHale, was involved in the case despite his 23-year tenure with the firm. The incredulous claim is only heightened after considering the extent of WilmerHale’s representation in matters very likely to have touched on matters involving his wife’s work as a senior EPA official. For instance, according to American Lawyer, WilmerHale made known its representation of Norfolk Southern “in many of the inquiries arising out of the events in Ohio” and that their work “spanned a number of agencies and as it relates to congressional oversight, a number of different congressional committees …”

Despite waiting four months before raising the potential conflict of interest with agency ethics officials, Deputy GC Sorgente lobbied to remain on the case. While ethics officials told her she must recuse, Ms. Sorgente resisted, “Given that it may be hard to replace me, is this something where a waiver might be considered?” Based on records obtained by FGI, ethics officials quickly appeared to give in to Sorgente’s request, stating “it is enough for you to know what your recusal obligation is” and requiring no further inquiry. The records raise numerous red flags about both the actions of Deputy General Counsel Sorgente and the EPA ethics officials who appeared to dismiss the apparent conflict of interest without much fanfare.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The EPA is asking us to believe the unbelievable. Even if Mr. Millar didn’t know Norfolk Southern was a client, somebody there did. Is there no elevator chitchat or watercooler talk at WilmerHale? Did nobody in his office know what Mr. Millar’s wife does for a living? And it certainly seems impossible that Ms. Sorgente could field congressional oversight issues on the EPA’s highest priority challenge without knowing who was representing the company responsible for it. And to top it off, the ethics gatekeepers seemed remarkably disinterested in putting an end to this apparent conflict of interest. Dysfunction barely begins to describe what we are seeing at the EPA.”

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Documents Reveal DOD Diverting Resources to Controversial DEI Training

DOD says it needs more funding for readiness and support of Israel and Ukraine, but it diverts current resources to controversial training.

(Washington, DC) – Today the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) released records in its current investigation into the Department of Defense’s (DOD) recent contracts and grants towards “woke” training programs. Documents obtained by FGI via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests provide details on multiple contracts in past years that related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Critical Race Theory (CRT), and other controversial concepts.

CRT is a controversial academic theory that asserts racial inequality is ongoing and endemic in America, rooted in legal systems, policies, economic markets, and education. Critics argue it is fundamentally at odds with the military’s meritocratic values. Nevertheless, CRT has found a way into the U.S. defense establishment.

In November 2021, the DOD awarded an indefinite delivery vehicle contract, a type of contract for the delivery of an unspecified quantity of goods or services over time, for DEI training. The contract ends in May 2028 and has paid out more than $600,000 so far, with the potential of approximately another $1.2 million. FGI’s FOIA request documents reveal that the contract included a list of “DEI Terms and Definitions,” which includes “antiracism,” “CRT,” “gaslighting,” “implicit bias,” “micro-aggression,” “privilege,” etc.

In July 2021, the DOD had awarded a project grant of approximately $758,000 to the University of Missouri System to create a development pipeline to channel superior STEM students toward naval careers. But the records reveal that part of the funding went towards scholarships to “meet our equity-focused programmatic goals” and “to boost recruitment of underrepresented minority.” The records further show that these students would have first consideration for several paid research internships.

Also, the DOD also awarded a purchase order of $11,400 for unconscious bias training. According to FGI’s FOIA records, the purpose of this training was both to increase diversity in hiring and to achieve a higher retention rate among “underrepresented” employees.

Pending FOIA requests and incoming records could reveal more controversial spending. This follows our showing how Navy officials disparaged critics of the Navy’s plans to observe Pride Month and how the Navy quietly removed Pride Month logos from their social media accounts after FGI’s revelation.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“With multiple conflicts currently ongoing across the globe and imminent threats to our national security, it is vital to maintain military readiness. We’re also told the military needs supplemental funding immediately. Yet, DOD chooses to divert scarce funds to controversial, divisive DEI and CRT-themed training. These programs have nothing to do with national security, and they steal time and resources from other training critical to readiness. Instead of unit cohesion, these efforts emphasize differences and potentially create conflicts among personnel. These policies result in prioritizing quota requirements and controversial training over ensuring maximum effectiveness. In this new year, we cannot afford more of this dysfunction in the military.”

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Celebrities, Electric Buses and Farm Equipment Demonstrations Took Priority Over East Palestine Disaster for EPA Administrator

Calendar records show that Administrator Regan appeared to act as if it was business as usual amidst the environmental emergency in East Palestine.

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced an update in its ongoing investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) initial response to the toxic spill from the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Records obtained through FGI’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that EPA Administrator Michael Regan was tending to other, seemingly mundane, issues across the country in the more than two weeks it took for him to visit the crash site.

The February 3, 2023, train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, resulted in the release of hazardous materials, threatening local residents. Though the EPA started monitoring air quality in the surrounding area the day of the disaster, and regional authorities soon began monitoring nearby water quality, local responders became overwhelmed. The focus of the EPA’s leader during this time appeared to have been elsewhere.

According to records obtained from FGI’s request to the EPA, in the days immediately after the disaster, Regan appears to have had no meetings involving anyone dealing with the crisis. In fact, February 4 and 5 were a weekend. His schedule was entirely clear, and Regan could have used those days to personally assess the situation in East Palestine, as one might expect of a cabinet-level official faced with an emergency. On February 8, Regan traveled to Kansas, to visit a high school and talk about electric school buses. The next day, he remained in Kansas, visiting local farms and participating in farm equipment demonstrations. Following this visit, he then traveled to North Carolina for a couple of days, ironically touring a water treatment plant, while the water in East Palestine was potentially contaminated.

It wasn’t until February 16, 13 days after the derailment, when Regan finally visited East Palestine. Strangely enough, before his trip and again soon after it, the records reveal Administrator Regan found the time for calls with actor Idris Elba and his wife. They were likely discussing plans for the couple to join Regan on travel to sub-Saharan Africa, as reported at the time.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“Why did it appear to take so long for Administrator Regan to prioritize the disaster in East Palestine? Electric buses, farm equipment, and North Carolina water treatment were routine press events. He even found time to talk with a Hollywood actor, likely to discuss foreign travel. This sort of irresponsibility seems to be a congenital problem in the Biden administration. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg disappeared for more than a month during the 2021 supply chain crisis, and just this month Defense Secretary Austin and his team didn’t bother to tell the president or even Austin’s next-in-line that he was hospitalized and in intensive care. Connect these dysfunctional dots and it’s hard not to see a pattern of irresponsibility in President Biden’s cabinet.”

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Big Oil Lobbied to Avoid Liability for Clean-up Costs; Given Regular Audience Among Senior Biden Officials

Agency Records Show New Rule May Stem from Big Oil Ask.

(Washington, DC) – Today, government watchdog Functional Government Initiative (FGI) released newly obtained records showing a series of private meetings early in the Biden administration between Interior officials and representatives from the major oil companies. While not unusual in itself, the private meetings represent a stark contrast from public perceptions pushed by the administration of its principled opposition to the oil and gas industry.

President Biden made clear in his 2020 campaign that he intended to restrict all new oil and gas development on public lands. However, access to his senior decision-makers at the Department of the Interior (DOI) and its sub-agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), appears to have been business-as-usual for the world’s largest oil producers. The newly obtained records also reveal that a complex but consequential set of government bonding requirements was of primary interest to the major oil companies. They sought regulatory changes that could shield their bottom line from the potential decommissioning liability of independent oil producers and small businesses operating in the Gulf of Mexico, while foisting additional costs to the small oil and gas operators. They also appeared to recognize the danger of their coordination being exposed, with one of their representatives asking BOEM officials at one point whether their comments would be made available to public scrutiny.

Big Oil’s wish appears to have been granted by the Biden administration. On June 29, 2023, BOEM published a proposal to amend bonding requirements in a way that many believe creates a new scheme to relieve the world’s biggest oil producers from billions in potential liability for clean-up costs under the leases. The proposal may also accomplish the President’s goals of restricting, as some small business advocates project that it may have the effect of putting many of these same smaller independent oil and gas producers who make up 76 percent of oil and gas operators in the Gulf out of business. The proposed rule would force non-publicly traded operators to incur more than $6 billion in insurance costs that even the surety industry itself claims would not be financially viable.

The public comment period on the new rules closed in September, and the Interior Department is currently reviewing comments from various stakeholders. The strange bed fellows in favor of the rules include major oil companies and their trade association, the American Petroleum Institute (API), along with a variety of large environmental NGOs who have generally been supportive of Interior’s efforts to reduce or eliminate all oil and gas production.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“These records paint a picture of the Biden Administration saying one thing publicly while appearing to do another behind closed doors. Ironically, in this instance it seems that coziness between senior political appointees at Interior and representatives of Big Oil may be the driver of BOEM’s latest rule on offshore bonding. Given the devastating impact projected by the BOEM bonding proposal on small oil and gas operators in the Gulf, the latest salvo may also be hitting two birds with one stone. Beyond just fulfilling Big Oil’s goal of crushing smaller competitors with new surety costs, the environmentalist lobby opposed to all drilling also appears to come out a winner since the rule could mean total dysfunction in the long-term viability of the Gulf’s energy industry.”

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Interior Officials Secretly Met with Environmental Plaintiffs in Critical Minerals Project They Later Cancelled

Lobbyists from The Wilderness Society brainstormed “legal and policy pathways” with DOI lawyers on Twin Metals.

(Washington, DC) – Government watchdog Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has released recently obtained records showing coordination between the lead plaintiff challenging the nation’s largest critical minerals project and senior Department of the Interior (DOI) policymakers and lawyers. Perhaps most notable is the high-level policy meeting involving lobbyists from The Wilderness Society (TWS), the plaintiff in the controversial Twin Metals case, and Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau and Deputy Chief of Staff Kate Kelly. The previously undisclosed meeting is noticeably absent from Beaudreau’s public calendars.

Since January 2021, DOI has taken several steps to unwind the prior administration’s policy and litigation position regarding a major critical minerals deposit in Minnesota. On January 26, 2022, DOI announced it was canceling two hard rock mineral leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota, a mining company operating in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Secretary Haaland’s action imposes a 20-year moratorium on mining on the approximately 225,000 acres of forest upstream from the wilderness.

Records recently obtained by FGI show meetings taking place in mid-2021 involving members of DOI leadership (Beaudreau and Kelly) at the same time TWS sought to coordinate with one of Interior’s top lawyers, Deputy Solicitor Natalie Landreth. The emails also show the officials were aware of the potential landmines associated with holding behind-the-scenes meetings on a controversial matter in active litigation without all sides present. The apparent workaround was a hodgepodge of mixed participation in certain meetings and labeling some meetings “policy” meetings. Remarkably, in the meeting between DOI lawyers and TWS, the attendees planned to “discuss some of the legal & policy pathways for protecting the Boundary waters watershed.” This would almost certainly walk right up to the line or over it given the issue being intimately wrapped up in a highly charged and complex active litigation. TWS later dropped its lawsuit after the DOI’s announcement of the lease cancellations.

DOI leadership likely understood that hosting the meetings looked ethically suspect as Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s available public calendars curiously do not have the July 2021 meeting with TWS. Whether any other secret meetings were planned or held between DOI officials and plaintiffs in the Twin Metals case remains an open question that FGI continues to investigate.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The American public should be concerned when senior government officials and lobbyists of plaintiffs are not reporting meetings that appear to influence active litigation and major policy decisions. More concerning may be a meeting with DOI lawyers to brainstorm ‘legal and policy pathways’ without opposing counsel and DOJ lawyers present. They appear to be throwing caution to the wind to advance their preferred policy position and those of their special interest friend, which just happens to be the former employer of several of Haaland’s senior political appointees.”

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FGI Forced to Sue Department of Education for Records on Pandemic Learning Loss

Lockdowns pushed by Department’s union allies caused students to fall far behind.

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a transparency lawsuit against the Department of Education (ED) for withholding records of communications with external organizations regarding the 2022 Nation’s Report Card showing dramatic learning loss.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or “Nation’s Report Card,” congressionally mandated and administered by the department, is the largest nationally representative assessment measuring students’ academic performance. The first national assessments occurred in 1969 and by 1996 were administered every two years.

In October 2022, the Education Department released the first NAEP administered since COVID-19 began. The results were shocking. The report showed a significant learning loss among the 4th and 8th grade students. In math, the average score dropped by 5 points for 4th graders and 8 points for 8th graders. In reading, the average score dropped by 3 points for both 4th and 8th graders. According to these statistics, about a third of 4th and 8th graders cannot even read at the “basic” achievement level. The tests revealed that student performance had fallen to levels not seen since the 1990s.

When the 2022 NAEP was released, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that “results show the pandemic’s grave impact on student achievement.” At least Weingarten acknowledged the problem, though as head of the nation’s second largest teachers’ union, she made no mention of the role she played in keeping schools closed, which exacerbated the learning loss. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made remarks stating that “the results in today’s Nation’s Report Card are appalling and unacceptable – they are a reminder of the impact this pandemic had on our learners.” He also gave credit to President Biden for leading the nation to nearly 100 percent of schools re-opening while admitting that it took nine months after taking office but neglecting to mention the role of the administration’s union allies in keeping schools closed.

Weingarten and the Department of Education seem to have agreed to respond to the disastrous report with the narrative that long-term school closings were unavoidable and that the resulting learning loss was regrettable but also inevitable. They also implied that schools are now open and, therefore, time to move on. However, the only thing that is avoidable appears to be accountability for failed policies and politicized decision-making.

In February 2023, FGI filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Education Department for records on communications with external special interest organizations regarding the 2022 NAEP assessments. Almost eight months later, no documents have been produced, thus prompting FGI to file suit.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 school closings were absolutely disastrous for our nation’s children, as the NAEP release makes clear. But, rather than being an unavoidable response, they were a policy failure. The education establishment’s reaction to the pandemic was unscientific, infuriating, and freely chosen. The Education Department and the unions were determined to deflect blame for the disastrous NAEP with their own narrative. Now the Department is obscuring the records of its communication with unions and other special interest groups about the assessments prior to their release. It seems the Education Department has failed educating our students and now the public.”

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FGI Files Suit Against IRS for Records on Former Lois Lerner Crony Nikole Flax

The IRS is again claiming they have no records from official in charge of hiring 87,000 agents.

October 12, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a transparency lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for withholding records regarding former IRS official Nikole Flax while she was overseeing a major budget increase and hiring initiative.

In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This Act requires “third-party settlement organizations,” like PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, etc. to report individuals to the IRS who receive more than $600 through those services. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 also earmarked $80 billion in funding to the IRS for increased tax enforcement and staffing, totaling 87,000 new employees. These laws significantly expand the power of the scandal-plagued agency.

Ms. Flax has held several high-level jobs at the IRS, including chief of staff during the scandal when IRS was targeting conservative organizations applying for non-profit status. Back then, an unfortunate “hard drive crash” (one of seven that curiously happened to IRS personnel linked to the scandal) kept congressional investigators and the press from inspecting her official records.

Hopefully, the IRS has availed itself of advances in personal computer and backup technology over the last decade because Ms. Flax more recently led the IRS’s IRA 2022 Transformation and Implementation Office, overseeing the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and hiring the new 87,000 IRS agents. In the interest of government transparency, it is to be hoped her emails are safe.

However, in February 2023, FGI filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the IRS for records from Flax related to implementing significant changes in tax enforcement, transaction monitoring, and other matters. Initially, the IRS responded that searches could not be conducted by keywords, and they could only search “subject lines” of emails, which preclude other types of records, such as text messages, letters, etc. The IRS then claimed that no records were located. FGI then appealed to the Independent Office of Appeals, which agreed that a reasonably adequate search was not completed. Since then, the IRS has continued to withhold records, thus prompting FGI to file suit.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“This isn’t the first time the IRS has claimed they can’t find records. When FGI first started an investigation into the IRS’ plan to hire 87,000 new agents, the agency claimed it had no records or analysis regarding the issue. After FGI filed suit, the IRS then magically said they likely have thousands of records. Now it’s happening again. You would think that an agency that exists to inspect the records of more and more U.S. taxpayers would at least make a show of being transparent itself.”

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Becerra’s COVID Recommendation Not Supported by Agency Records

HHS Scientific Integrity Policy Might Have Been Discarded

August 8, 2023

(Washington, DC) – It took government watchdog Functional Government Initiative (FGI) eight months and a lawsuit for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to confirm that there was no scientific or academic basis supporting Secretary Xavier Becerra’s prescription for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots every two months. HHS ignored FGI’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for months until taken to court, and now says there are no documents or communications explaining the origin of the Secretary’s public health pronouncement.

On November 28, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted, “One shot, once a year—that’s all most people will need to stay protected from COVID year-long. Make a plan to get your shot at http://vaccines.gov.” The next day, HHS Secretary Becerra tweeted, “An updated COVID vaccine can help protect you from the worst outcomes of COVID. If it’s been over 2 months since your last dose, make a plan to get one now.” Becerra repeated his two-month recommendation the following day in another tweet.

In an effort to understand why Secretary Becerra – a lawyer by training, not a physician – was calling for six times more booster shots than was Vice President Harris, FGI requested any documents or communications that would lay out the scientific basis for his recommendation and the discrepancy of messages from two of our government’s top-ranking officials. After taking the agency to court, HHS sent FGI its “final response” that it had no documents “relevant to your request.”

Considering the many concerns that surrounded and still surround COVID vaccine efficacy and safety, such confusion and unsubstantiated public health pronouncements raise serious questions about the administration’s approach to pandemic policy. The lack of supporting records for the Secretary’s controversial recommendation also raises more questions on whether federal officials are committed to grounding major public health recommendations in hard science and empirical evidence – even if they run counter to the Biden administration’s policy agenda.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The lack of a single record supporting Secretary Becerra’s bold public health recommendation for six COVID boosters a year is a startling development. It is tremendously irresponsible for the government’s chief health official to fire off tweets recommending frequent injections of a new vaccine booster apparently based on no academic or scientific support. How can the public be assured that the agency is ‘following the science’ on other important public health matters when it demonstrates such clear disregard for basic scientific integrity standards on an issue as important as COVID vaccine shots? Pandemics and vaccines are matters of life and death. Americans should be able to trust their leaders are not playing politics with their health.”

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