Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into whether or not Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson engaged in gain-of-function research and misled the public about what they were doing while working on COVID-19 vaccines.
Paxton is also investigating whether or not the pharmaceutical giants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by misrepresenting the efficacy of their vaccines and the likelihood of transmitting COVID-19 after getting them.
“The development of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the representations made by and knowledge of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, are of profound interest to the public’s health and welfare. This investigation aims to discover the truth,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This pandemic was a deeply challenging time for Americans. If any company illegally took advantage of consumers during this period or compromised people’s safety to increase their profits, they will be held responsible. If public health policy was developed on the basis of flawed or misleading research, the public must know. The catastrophic effects of the pandemic and subsequent interventions forced on our country and citizens deserve intense scrutiny, and we are pursuing any hint of wrongdoing to the fullest.”
Paxton’s office said in a press release on May 1 that the investigation would be looking for manipulation of vaccine trial data and “potentially fraudulent activity that falls outside the scope of legal immunity granted to manufacturers of the vaccines.
BREAKING: We are launching an investigation into Gain-of-Function research and misrepresentations by Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers https://t.co/3NAEGISuT5
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 1, 2023
“It will also review the companies’ controversial practice of reporting the metric of ‘relative risk reduction’ instead of ‘absolute risk reduction’ when publicly discussing the efficacy of their vaccines,” the press release said.
The attorney general’s office noted that “certain pharmaceutical companies have had record-breaking financial success in recent years, driven in part by sales made from products related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This vested interest in the success of these Covid-19 products, combined with reports about the alarming side effects of vaccines, demands aggressive investigation.”
“Texas’s investigation will force these companies to turn over documents the public otherwise could not access,” the press release explained. “Attorney General Paxton is committed to discovering the full scope of decision-making behind pandemic interventions forced on the public, especially when a profit motive or political pressure may have compromised Americans’ health and safety. Efforts by the federal government to coerce compliance with unjust and illegal pandemic interventions, even at the cost of citizens’ employment, means this investigation into the scientific and ethical basis on which public health decisions were made is of major significance.”
Paxton’s office said that given the “unprecedented political power and influence over public health policies that pharmaceutical companies now wield,” it is more important than ever that they are held accountable if they take “dangerous, illegal actions” to boost their revenues.