A federal judge in Texas has ordered President Joe Biden’s administration to publicly release hundreds of thousands of pages of information relating to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by March 1, according to a Thursday ruling.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman sided in favor of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking documents related to the Pfizer vaccine, overruling the FDA’s argument it needed 75 years to answer the FOIA requests for the documents. Pittman’s order argued that no good can come from the government withholding facts from the public, quoting American leaders like James Madison and John McCain.
The judge found that not only was the FDA capable of producing the documents in a timely manner, it was also of “paramount importance” that they do so. He referenced a sentiment from McCain that “excessive administrative secrecy . . . feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in the government.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Introduce Bill To Prohibit Federal Vaccine Mandates)
The FDA had argued its FOIA office was understaffed and could only produce 500 pages per month, meaning the full scope of the FOIA wouldn’t be revealed until 2097. Pittman’s order requires first that the FDA produce more than 12,000 pages by the end of January, and then an additional 55,000 pages per month until the FOIA request is completed.
Republicans on Capitol Hill had railed at the Biden administration for the initial 75-year timeline, with Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs arguing it was an example of the “complete ineptitude” of federal bureaucracy.
“It’s an absolute ridiculous claim to need 75 years to process FOIA requests on a vaccine that Biden and the Far Left are working overtime to mandate on the American people,” Biggs told the Daily Caller Dec. 30. “We deserve complete transparency surrounding these vaccines. But, once again, the Biden administration is demonstrating the complete ineptitude of federal bureaucracy and why it has no place in dictating the private healthcare decisions of the American people.”
There are roughly 329,000 pages that are likely to be subject to the FOIA request, meaning Pittman’s order will have the full scope released by July or August.