Senator Questions CDC on Why It Expected Hundreds of Safety Signals for COVID-19 Vaccines

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
January 11, 2023Politics

A U.S. senator is questioning why a top agency was expecting hundreds of safety signals for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claimed in 2022 that safety monitoring revealed no “unexpected safety signals” for the vaccines.

But the results to which she was referring showed hundreds of safety signals, or adverse events potentially linked to the shots.

The Epoch Times obtained the results through a Freedom of Information Act after the CDC refused to release them.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is now wondering why the CDC expected so many signals after vaccination.

In a Jan. 10 letter citing The Epoch Times article on the results, Johnson demanded the CDC explain how it determined what is and is not an “unexpected safety signal.”

“The American people have a right to know the extent to which your agency was aware of and tracked COVID-19 vaccine adverse events. Your lack of transparency is unacceptable. Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight and leaving the public in the dark,” added Johnson, who was stonewalled when he requested the monitoring results.

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.

False Statements

The CDC has made multiple false statements on the outcomes found from a type of analysis called Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR). The analysis involves comparing the number of adverse events reported to a system co-managed by the CDC after COVID-19 vaccination to the number of adverse events reported after vaccination with other vaccines.

The CDC initially said that performing PRRs was outside of its purview, contradicting a government document that stated the agency “will perform” the technique. Dr. John Su, a top CDC official, then claimed it started performing the analysis in February 2021 and continued to do so as of July 18, 2022.

Both statements turned out to be wrong. After being pressed by Johnson, the CDC later said that it did not start the PRRs until March 25, 2022, and stopped performing them on July 31, 2022.

Walensky, a Biden appointee, admitted the CDC provided false information in a September 2022 letter to the senator.

The CDC “recently addressed a previous statement made to The Epoch Times to clarify PRR were not run between February 26, 2021, to September 30, 2021,” she said.

Johnson noted that the missive did not explain why the CDC offered the false information. Martha Sharan, a CDC spokesperson who herself made a false claim, told The Epoch Times in an email that no CDC workers intentionally provided false information.

Senate Health Committee Examines Ongoing Response To COVID-19
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks in Washington on June 16, 2022. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks in Washington on June 16, 2022. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


The results of the PRRs, obtained by The Epoch Times and released to the public for the first time in January, shows CDC analysts found hundreds of adverse events met the threshold for a safety signal.

That included severe conditions such as blood clotting and even death.

PRRs analyze reports lodged with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which health officials describe as “the nation’s early warning system” for vaccine issues.

The analyses do not prove a vaccine caused an event but the CDC had vowed to “further investigate” any “unexpected AEs,” or adverse events, identified through PRR. It’s not clear if the agency has investigated any of the events. The CDC has not returned inquiries about the matter and Freedom of Information Act requests are pending.

The CDC’s records office claimed that the results “generally corroborated findings from Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining.” That’s a reference to a different type of analysis performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has refused to release the results.

A CDC spokesperson previously told The Epoch Times in an email in 2022 that the PRR results “were generally consistent with EB data mining, revealing no additional unexpected safety signals.”

Walensky used the exact same language in her missive to Johnson, who asked for the results in multiple letters.

The tables The Epoch Times released “appear to be responsive to my previous letters, and yet, CDC continues to hide this and other information from my office and ultimately, the American people,” Johnson wrote.

He urged the CDC to provide the requested information no later than Jan. 17.

From The Epoch Times

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