Amid the most ambitious universal vaccination effort in history, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci dodged a Republican senator’s inquiry about the estimated number of deaths caused by COVID-19 vaccines during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Walensky promised during the Jan. 11 hearing to follow up and provide Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., with the requested figure.
But more than three weeks later, the senator’s office said it has not received the information.
Tuberville’s communications director, Ryann DuRant, told WND on Friday that after the senator’s exchange with Walensky, his office submitted the question as a part of its “questions for the record,” or QFR, “and are still waiting to hear back.”
The CDC has not replied to WND’s questions about the status of its promised reply to the senator while the Biden administration continues its policy of pressuring Americans to get COVID shots, including by scolding the unvaccinated as spreaders of death.
When Tuberville asked Walensky and Fauci how many people they estimate have died from the vaccines, he was acting on behalf of the American people’s interest of having as much information as possible about the risks of both vaccination and COVID-19 before making a decision.
As WND reported, the Alabama lawmaker cited the CDC database, co-managed with the FDA, that was established as a “national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines.” It’s called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS.
Both Walensky and Fauci curiously began their reply to Tuberville with emphasizing that people can’t rely on VAERS for any indication of the number of vaccine-related deaths, because people who get hit by a car shortly after being vaccinated get recorded as vaccine deaths.
Tuberville noted that the number of COVID-19 vaccine deaths was “in the thousands.” At that time, the latest VAERS figures were 21,382 vaccine-related deaths and 113,303 hospitalizations among a total of 1,016,999 adverse event reports.
“Is this true?” the senator asked Walensky. “Are we having that many people die after taking one of these vaccines?”
She responded by saying that VAERS is a “mandatory system of any adverse event that happens after being vaccinated.”
“So, if you get hit by a car, tragically, after getting vaccinated, that gets reported in the vaccine adverse reporting VAERS system,” Walensky said.
“So the vaccines are incredibly safe,” she continued. “They protect us against omicron, they protect us against delta, they protect us against COVID. They don’t protect us against every other form of mortality out there.”
Tuberville asked again.
“Do we keep numbers of people that die … following taking this vaccine? Do we have any idea?”
“Absolutely, yes,” Walensky said. “I couldn’t give you the absolute number off the top of my head, but I can absolutely get back in touch with you with those data.”
Tuberville turned to Biden’s top health adviser, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
“Do you know, Dr. Fauci? Do you have any clue on that?”
“I don’t have a number, but I think part of the confusion is that when you get vaccinated and get hit by a car … that’s the thing that get’s confusing, that everything that happens after the vaccination — even if you die of something completely obviously unrelated, it’s considered a death,” he said.
Walensky added, “And every one of those is adjudicated.”
See Tuberville’s questions:
Many physicians and scientists believe the true VAERS figures are much higher. Physicians who sued the FDA for documents related to clinical trials for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine estimate the true numbers are five times higher. A recent study led by a researcher at Columbia University estimated the actual figures are higher by a factor of 20. If the underreporting factor is correct, it would mean that there are nearly 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19 vaccines.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that a VAERS report is not documentation that a link has been established between a vaccine and an adverse event. However, HHS also notes that VAERS is a “passive” system of reporting, and it “receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.” Many health care workers have disclosed they are instructed by their superiors not to report to VAERS any harm caused by COVID vaccines.
While VAERS is described as a “voluntary” reporting system, HHS says that health-care providers “who administer COVID-19 vaccines are required by law after vaccination to report to VAERS” any errors in administering the shots along with, among other things, deaths and life-threatening adverse events.
A decade before COVID-19, the so-called Lazarus study by Harvard researchers estimated VAERS accounted for only 1% of vaccine-induced injuries.
Steve Kirsch, the executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, and others conducted an analysis comparing anaphylaxis rates published in a study to rates found in VAERS. They concluded the true death toll from COVID-19 vaccines is 41 times higher.
The website VAERS Analysis used whistleblower data from the CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to come up with an estimated underreporting factor of 44.64.
Files obtained from the Food and Drug Administration in November through a Freedom of Information lawsuit recorded 158,893 adverse events from the Pfizer vaccine in the first two and a half months of distribution, including 25,957 incidents of “nervous system disorders.”
The lawsuit was filed by a group called Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, comprised of more than 30 professors and scientists from universities including Yale, Harvard, UCLA and Brown. As WND reported, in court papers filed in December, the FDA proposed that it be given 55 years to release all 329,000 pages of documents related to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requested by the group. The FDA has now modified that request, asking a judge for a delay of 75 years.
One of the scientists in the lawsuit is Dr. Peter McCullough, who has become an outspoken critic of universal COVID-19 vaccination.
In his interview with podcaster Joe Rogan in December, he cited a study conducted before COVID by Dr. H. Cody Meissner of Tufts University School of Medicine finding that about 80% of VAERS reports are done by doctors, nurses or other health-care professionals who believe a vaccine caused the problem. Only about 14% or 15% of the reports are done by the patients themselves.
McCullough believes CMS data indicates VAERS underreports by a factor of about four or five.
With the CMS data, he said, “you know when someone got the shot and you know when they died.”
The proportion of Medicare and Medicaid patients in the U.S. population is known, he reasons, so an estimate can be obtained through extrapolation.
A factor of five was used in the lawsuit against the FDA, estimating 45,000 U.S. deaths due to COVID-19 vaccines while VAERS reported 9,000 at the time the case was filed.