- The Florida Supreme Court approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury
- The jury will “investigate wrongdoings” associated with COVID-19 vaccines and its manufacturing
- The grand jury will be comprised of individuals from the Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Judicial Circuits
- The grand jury will inquire into individuals and entities involved in the development marketing of COVID-19 vaccines
- Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta was selected to preside over the investigation
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury to “investigate wrongdoings” associated with COVID-19 vaccines and its manufacturing.
The grand jury, per the Supreme Court, will be impaneled for a total of twelve months to “investigate crime, return indictments, [and] make presentments.”
According to the published disposition, the grand jury will be drawn from the certified jury lists submitted by the chief judges of the Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Judicial Circuits.
“Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has alleged that good and sufficient reason exists and that it is in the public interest to impanel a statewide grand jury, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses listed in section 905.34, Florida Statutes,” the court document states.
Under the cited Statute, the grand jury will inquire into individuals and entities, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and other medical associations or organizations involved in the design, development, testing, and marketing of vaccines “purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.”
Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta was selected to preside over the investigation.
DeSantis announced his request during a medical roundtable event on Dec. 13 alongside state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
During the event, DeSantis claimed that manufacturers and lawmakers misled and misrepresented the efficacy of the vaccine for public administration.
The announcement drew quick criticism from Democrats, who questioned the timing of the announcement, which was concurrent to the property insurance Special Session in the state legislature.
“Why is DeSantis announcing this, right now, at this very moment?” Said Democrat Rapid Response Director Ammar Moussa on Twitter. “Because his minions in the state legislature are actively working to raise rates on Florida property owners while lining the pockets of big insurance companies.”
The tweet was also republished by Samantha Ramirez, who works in communications for DeSantis’ former gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist.
DeSantis additionally announced the formation of a Public Health Integrity Committee that he said would aim to “counter misinformation” from federal agencies like the Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, and Food and Drug Administration.
“Our CDC, at this point, you just assume that it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on,” DeSantis said. “It’s not serving a useful function. It’s really serving to advance narratives, rather than do evidence-based medicine.”
The committee will be comprised of a series of expert researchers, according to DeSantis, that will be able to assess recommendations and guidances posted by federal health agencies.
DeSantis explained that the formation of the Integrity Committee follows a series of discussions with governors across America and that similar committees will soon be announced in other states.