Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) is investigating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to act against the COVID-19 booster shot recommendation issued by the CDC’s own advisory panel in favor of an unnecessarily broad and potentially politically motivated recommendation. On September 23, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended against booster shots for those in high-risk occupations, citing a risk of myocarditis in young men and concerns about the necessity and feasibility of issuing such a sweeping vaccine guidance. Less than one day later, former CDC Director Rochelle Walensky disregarded ACIP’s recommendation and issued official CDC guidance that recommended COVID-19 booster shots for those in this younger, healthier group.
Chairman Wenstrup is requesting documents and communications related to former Director Walensky’s decision to act against the guidance of ACIP’s expert panel, which was specifically designed to inform vaccine policy at the CDC. The Select Subcommittee is seeking further explanations and answers on behalf of the American people given that political pressure from the White House may have played a role in influencing the CDC booster shot guidance.
“In the early morning hours of September 24, 2021, the CDC said that Director Walensky ‘endorsed [ACIPS’] recommendation…and also recommended a booster dose for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings.’ This statement completely brushes over the fact that Director Walensky disregarded the carefully considered guidance of the expert panel composed of 15 voting members, eight ex officio members, and 30 non-voting representatives designed to inform vaccine policy. ACIP had reasonable concerns about the necessity and feasibility of such a recommendation, which Director Walensky chose to ignore after mere hours of deliberation following the panel’s recommendations. 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,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup.
Reach Chairman Wenstrup’s letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Mandy Cohen here.