House Republicans have accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of pushing the Biden administration’s political agenda on COVID-19 booster shots — against the scientific advice from the health agency’s own advisory panel.
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic — headed by Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) — is demanding in a letter obtained by The Post that the CDC release its notes explaining why it decided to overrule its 15-member vaccine advisory panel during a 2021 meeting.
The letter, which accused the CDC of having “political ties to the narrative pushed by the Biden White House,” also comes just days ahead of a meeting in which the panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), will weigh whether to recommend the public receive yet another booster shot.
On Sept. 23, 2021, the ACIP opted against recommending booster shots for those in high-risk occupations, such as health care workers and teachers.
But the following day, former CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky superseded that recommendation and endorsed the vaccines anyway.
“ACIP specifically noted the risk of myocarditis in young men in advising against broadly recommending booster shots for those in high-risk occupations,” Wenstrup wrote in a letter to CDC Director Mandy Cohen on Wednesday.
“Yet, former Director Walensky disregarded this aspect of ACIP’s advice and included this younger, healthier cohort anyway.”
Brad Wenstrup is leading the Republican charge to scrutinize the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getty Images
Mandy Cohen took command as CDC director back in July.
Republicans are accusing the CDC of pushing the Biden administration’s agenda.
Wenstrup also drew attention to the speed with which the national public health agency acted to overrule its own advisory panel at the time.
The panel’s vote on boosters for those in high-risk occupations was also close, but Walensky’s decision to go against her own advisers was still a surprise to some of her staff members, the New York Times reported at the time.
“This highly capricious decision is even more concerning due to the broad authority that the CDC Director— a position that is not currently subject to the advice and consent of the United States Senate — wields in making decisions about Americans’ health,” Wenstrup wrote.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky served as CDC director from January 2021 until last June.
Specific material Wenstrup is demanding includes all documents related to the Sept. 23, 2021, booster shot recommendation as well as all documents pertaining to Walensky’s decision to supersede that recommendation.
The ACIP will meet again on Sept. 12 to decide on whether to recommend boosters again this winter.
Wenstrup is demanding the material no later than Sept. 20.
President Biden, meanwhile, has already made it clear he believes the ACIP should issue the recommendation.
President Biden encouraged the public to get their COVID-19 shots during the thick of the pandemic.
AFP via Getty Images
“Unfortunately, it appears that politics may play a role in this recommendation,” Wenstrup warned.
“These comments suggest the Biden Administration has a preferred outcome and are very concerning. The CDC must follow medical science, not political science,” he continued.
The looming ACIP decision comes amid an upswing in COVID-19 cases nationally.
Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have also risen since July, according to data from the CDC.
First lady Jill Biden, 72, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday — for at least the third time.
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Republican lawmakers in Congress have been keen to examine the federal government’s response to the pandemic.
Last week, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) demanded a bevy of material related to his accusations that the CDC collaborated with Big Tech to censor its own vaccine data.

Original Story: House Republicans accuse CDC of pushing Biden agenda on COVID vaccines

By Mark

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