The Functional Government Initiative, a government watchdog, has reported that the Department of Health and Human Services had no written scientific or academic basis to support Secretary Xavier Becerra’s controversial recommendation for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots every two months.
The revelation came after eight months of investigation and a lawsuit filed by FGI against HHS, shedding light on discrepancies within the Biden Administration’s approach to pandemic policy.
The saga began when on Nov. 28, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, a message advocating for an annual Covid-19 vaccine shot. Just a day later, Secretary Becerra, who lacks a medical background, took to Twitter with a contrasting message, advocating for booster shots every two months. This significant difference in recommendations raised concerns about the administration’s quality of its public health recommendations.
FGI tried to get information through several Freedom of Information Act requests showing scientific basis for Secretary Becerra’s recommendation. The HHS’s delay in responding to this FOIA request prompted FGI to resort to legal action, compelling the agency to provide an explanation.
After months of legal proceedings, HHS finally responded to FGI with what it said is its “final response.” It had no documents at all “relevant to your request.”
Th official government response has raised questions about the scientific integrity of the recommendation, as well as the commitment of federal officials to base public health decisions on empirical evidence, even if they appear to contradict the Biden agenda.
Peter McGinnis, a spokesperson for FGI, expressed strong criticism over the situation: “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.”
In 2021, Becerra had to backtrack after he said that “it is absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. His comment drew sharp rebuke from Republicans in Congress.
His comments then, along with similar comments from President Joe Biden, who said public health officials would be going door to door to ensure the remaining Americans who had not been vaccinated are given the shot.
“Now, we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus,” Biden said.
Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said at the time that the government would knock on doors, with “targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated.”
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona responded, “It’s NONE of the [government’s] business knowing who has or hasn’t been vaccinated.”
“How about don’t knock on my door,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw also wrote on Twitter in response in 2021. “You’re not my parents. You’re the government. Make the vaccine available, and let people be free to choose. Why is that concept so hard for the left?”
On Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, President Joe Biden said he has asked Congress for money to develop yet another Covid vaccine “that works.”