Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced a bill on Thursday that would require all federal agencies to make records related to the COVID-19 pandemic available for public review within 100 days.
The Answer COVID FOIAs Now Act, sponsored by Texas Rep. Chip Roy, would order the head of each federal agency to clear all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to COVID-19 treatments, as well as anything related to gain-of-function research. It was inspired by a Food and Drug Administration request to keep all documents related to the approval of the Pfizer vaccine under wraps until 2097, he explained.
“The American people have been misled, and information related to COVID vaccines has been hidden from the public eye or delayed in perpetuity by our public health ‘experts,’ throughout this pandemic,” Roy said. “The FDA’s request to have until 2097 to fully release documents related to the approval of the Pfizer vaccine is absurd. The American people deserve transparent and honest information; that is why I am proud to introduce this bill to bring necessary accountability and transparency for COVID-related FOIA requests. This is a first step among many needed reforms that will address the rank incompetence and dishonesty federal agencies have displayed throughout this pandemic.”
Read the bill here:
Government officials have liberally employed redactions when forced to turn over documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have argued that fully releasing the documents could impact law enforcement activities, or hinder national security. (RELATED: Previously Redacted Email Between Peter Daszak, Anthony Fauci Suddenly Sees Light Of Day)
“We must ensure the public can trust the very government institutions they pay for to serve them with integrity,” South Carolina Rep. and co-sponsor Ralph Norman added. “Fearmongering, virtue signaling, and, at best, inconsistent messaging have eroded the faith in the independence of these agencies and public health officials at large. It is imperative that federal agencies follow through on any FOIA requests in a timely manner on any COVID-related issue. I am proud to work with Rep. Roy on this legislation to restore the public’s faith in our government.”
National Institutes of Health Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak admitted in October that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) funded gain-0f-function research through a sub-grant to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance. NIAID head Dr. Anthony Fauci had denied that his agency funded the practice during congressional testimony.