US Fact check: False claim that FDA vaccine officials resigned to avoid criminal charges
Overnight Health Care — Departing FDA vaccine regulators argue against COVID-19 booster shots
Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care, where we're following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. The Dude Abides, and is COVID-free. Actor Jeff Bridges said COVID-19 made "cancer look like a piece of cake" when announcing his lymphoma is in remission. Two of the FDA's top vaccine regulators were among the co-authors of a paper arguing that the evidence doesn't supportThe Dude Abides, and is COVID-free. Actor Jeff Bridges said COVID-19 made "cancer look like a piece of cake" when announcing his lymphoma is in remission.
The claim: FDA officials resigned to avoid prosecution for crimes against humanity
An Instagram post has mischaracterized the resignations of two top vaccine officials at the Food and Drug Administration.
"Top FDA vaccine officials RESIGN to avoid prosecution for crimes against humanity as White House, CDC commit GENOCIDE," reads a headline inwhich has been liked nearly 300 times in 7 days.
Conservative radio host who opposed vaccines, pandemic precautions dies of COVID-19
A conservative radio host in Colorado who opposed coronavirus vaccines, face masks and other pandemic precautions has died from COVID-19. Your browser does not support this video Bob Enyart's death was confirmed by his "Real Science Radio" co-host Fred Williams on social media earlier this week. “It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with Covid,” Williams shared on Facebook. “Bob Enyart was one of the smartest, and without question, the wisest person I’ve known.” Start the day smarter.
The image is a screengrab fromby Natural News, a website that and conspiracy theories.
The article says two senior FDA officials resigned because "they know about the criminal indictments that are coming against the genocidal vaccine mass murderers," referring to the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the FDA hasn't commented on the reason behind the officials' resignation, health officials told media outlets it had to do with a disagreement over COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
Why Fauci and the NIH backed Covid-19 vaccine boosters before the FDA and CDC
In January — long before the first jabs of covid-19 vaccine were even available to most Americans — scientists working under Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases were already thinking about potential booster shots. © Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images A nurse marks a coronavirus vaccination card with a third "booster" dose of Pfizer, at a vaccine clinic hosted by The Tournament of Roses and the Pasadena Public Health Department, August 19, 2021 at Tournament House in Pasadena, California.
The user who posted the image declined to comment. USA TODAY reached out to Natural News for comment.
FDA email gave no reason for resignations
The resignations ofdirector of vaccines research and review at the FDA, and the deputy director, were announced Aug. 31 in a company-wide email from Peter Marks, the agency's top vaccine regulator.
Gruber's last day at the agency will be Oct. 31, according to a copy of Marks' email that USA TODAY obtained. Krause is expected to leave in November.
The email did not mention the reason why the pair is leaving. FDA spokesperson Alison Hunt didn't elaborate on the reason behind the resignations, either.
, citing an unnamed "current health official," reported Gruber and Krause resigned due to differences with Marks, the director for the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA.
A former official said the resignations were "rooted in anger over the agency's lack of autonomy in the booster planning so far," the news outlet reported.
US deaths in September outpacing previous months; U.N. General Assembly relying on vaccine honor system ahead of meeting: COVID-19 updates
The United States is on track to exceed the total number of COVID deaths in July and August combined within a matter of days. Live updates.Through Saturday, the country reported 32,526 deaths in September, compared to 27,612 in all of August. With deaths averaging nearly 2,000 per day, the U.S. is on track to exceed the total deaths of July and August combined within a matter of days, a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
reported Gruber and Krause were leaving because they disagreed with President Joe Biden's COVID-19 booster shot plan.
Biden has been outspoken about the need for booster shots andthey'd be available, pending FDA approval, as early as Sept. 20 for all Americans who had received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines eight months prior.
Some health experts, however, saythe need for a third shot for everyone at the eight-month mark.
On Sept. 22, the FDA authorized Pfizer booster shots. A committee advising the CDC is on third shots of the Pfizer vaccine.
USA TODAY reached out to Gruber and Krause for comment.
No evidence of criminal charges against CDC, White House, FDA
The burden of proof for any factual claim is on the speaker, and no one making this claim provided any such proof.
Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries; California has lowest virus transmission in US: COVID-19 updates
Meanwhile, California's rate of transmission is an average of 94 cases per 100,000, which is considered "substantial" by the CDC. More COVID updates.It is the only state in the country reporting transmission levels considered "substantial" by the CDC, along with the territory Puerto Rico. All other states currently have "high" levels of transmission." High transmission consists of 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
The user who posted the image declined to comment on the matter and didn't provide any supporting evidence. USA TODAY reached out to other users who've shared the claim and none provided a credible source or evidence.
Gruber and Krause said the White House, CDC and United Nations "have conspired" to keep the FDA out of making decisions regarding vaccines.
But there's no evidence of either official speaking about their resignation publicly. And the email sent to FDA staff members announcing the officials' resignation didn't elaborate on it, either.
USA TODAY's research also found no evidence the White House, CDC or FDA are facing criminal charges for crimes against humanity or genocide.
The White House wouldn't comment on the matter and referred USA TODAY to the Department of Health and Human Services, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that two FDA officials resigned to avoid prosecution for crimes against humanity. The two officials reportedly resigned due to a disagreement over the push for booster shots from the Biden administration, according to The New York Times and Politico. There's no evidence the White House or CDC are facing charges for crimes against humanity or genocide, and neither the social media users nor Natural News provided any evidence supporting the claim.
Wisconsin reports more cases in kids than any age group; CDC endorses booster shot for millions of older Americans: COVID-19 updates
Wisconsin reports more COVID cases in kids than any other age group. Florida schools receive federal aid after defying state mandates. COVID updatesCDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday, hours after the advisers said boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.
Our fact-check sources:
- Natural News, Sept. 2, (archived)
- Vox, June 25, 2020,
- FDA, accessed Sept. 16,
- Alison Hunt, Sept. 16, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Politico, Aug. 31,
- USA TODAY, Aug. 18,
- USA TODAY, Sept. 5,
- New York Times, Aug. 31,
- @_the_damascuspush, Sept. 16, Instagram direct message exchange with USA TODAY
- White House Press Office, Sept. 16, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- USA TODAY, Sept. 22,
- USA TODAY, Sept. 22,
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
California to require COVID-19 vaccines for schoolchildren .
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California will become the first U.S. state to require COVID-19 vaccinations for children to attend public and private schools in person in a mandate that could effect millions of students. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that the coronavirus shot will be added to 10 other immunizations already required for school kids, including those for measles and mumps. Exemptions would be granted for medical reasons or because of religious or personal beliefs but the exemption rules haven't been written yet pending public comment.Any student without an exemption who refuses to get the vaccine would be forced to do independent study at home.