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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Judicial Watch Sues Dept. of Defense for Records Concerning the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records and communications relating to the data contained in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:22-cv-03043)).

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database is a web-based tool designed to provide access to:

[A] subset of data contained within the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). DMSS contains up-to-date and historical data on diseases and medical events (e.g., hospitalizations, ambulatory visits, reportable diseases, etc.) … The DMED application provides a user-friendly interface to perform queries regarding disease and injury rates and relative burdens of disease in active component populations.

The purpose of DMED is to standardize the epidemiologic methodology used to collect, integrate and analyze active component service member personnel and medical event data …

In February 2021, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin highlighting reports from three whistleblowers about injuries to servicemen and women potentially related to the COVID-19 vaccines:

Based on data from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), Thomas Renz, an attorney who is representing three Department of Defense whistleblowers, reported that these whistleblowers found a significant increase in registered diagnoses on DMED for miscarriages, cancer, and many other medical conditions in 2021 compared to a five-year average from 2016-2020. For example, at the roundtable Renz stated that registered diagnoses for neurological issues increased 10 times from a five-year average of 82,000 to 863,000 in 2021.

The lawsuit was filed after the Office of the Secretary of Defense failed to respond to a February 16, 2022, FOIA request by Judicial Watch for:

  1. All emails sent to and from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (on his official government/military email accounts or non-government email account, in his own name or using an alias) relating to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, DMED, Sen. Ron Johnson, and/or vaccines.
  2. All emails sent to and from Deputy Secretary of Defense Katheen H. Hicks (on her official government/military email accounts or non-government email accounts, in her own name or using an alias) relating to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, DMED, Sen. Ron Johnson, and/or vaccines.
  3. All emails sent to and from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (on his official government/military email accounts or non-government email accounts, in his own name or using an alias) relating to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, DMED, Sen. Ron Johnson, and/or vaccines.
  4. All emails sent to and from Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten (on his official government/military email accounts or non-government email accounts, in his own name or using an alias) relating to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, DMED, Sen. Ron Johnson, and/or vaccines.
  5. All emails sent to and from Defense Department Public Affairs Officer Major Charlie Dietz (on his official government/military email accounts or non-government email accounts, in his own name or using an alias) relating to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, DMED, Sen. Ron Johnson, and/or vaccines.
  6. All reports, memoranda, studies, analyses, directive, and electronic communications produced by or sent to and from officials who maintain the Defense Medical Epidemiology Data base relating to the accuracy of or changes to be made to data contained in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Data base.

The data from Defense Medical Epidemiology Database showing “skyrocketing levels of disease among military personnel,” also were publicized through an image shared on Facebook:

Percentage Increase Over the Average of the Last Five Years: Heart attacks 269%, Cancer 300%, Pericarditis 175%, Myocarditis 285%, Pulmonary Embolisms 467%, Cerebral Infarction 393%, Bell’s Palsy 319%, Guillain-Barre 250%, Immunodeficiencies 275%, Menstrual Irregularity 476%, Multiple Sclerosis 487%, Miscarriage 306%, HIV 590%, Chest Pain 1,529%, Labored Breathing 905%, Neurological Issues 1052%.

Responding to these concerns, an unnamed Defense Department source told Reuters:

The calculations, based on figures from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, are incorrect. Last year’s apparent sharp increases were caused by underreporting for the years 2016-2020. A spokesperson for the Department of Defense  told Reuters that due to “data corruption,” the platform showed only a “fraction” of the actual medical diagnoses registered in that period.

“The Defense Department seems to have something to hide about a key database that could provide insight on any issues related to the COVID-19 vaccines (which, outrageously, are still mandated for military service members),” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Through FOIA, Judicial Watch has uncovered a substantial amount of information about COVID-19 issues:

  • Recently, Judicial Watch received records from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding data Moderna submitted to the FDA on its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, which indicate a “statistically significant” number of rats were born with skeletal deformations after their mothers were injected with the vaccine. The documents also reveal Moderna elected not to conduct a number of standard pharmacological studies on the laboratory test animals.
  • FDA records detailed pressure for COVID-19 vaccine booster approval and use.
  • NIH records revealed an FBI “inquiry” into the NIH’s controversial bat coronavirus grant tied to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The records also show National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) officials were concerned about “gain-of-function” research in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2016. The Fauci agency was also concerned about EcoHealth Alliance’s lack of compliance with reporting rules and use of gain-of-function research in the NIH-funded research involving bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.
  • HHS records revealed that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.
  • NIAID records showed that it gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself. The records also included an email from the vice director of the Wuhan Lab asking an NIH official for help finding disinfectants for decontamination of airtight suits and indoor surfaces.
  • HHS records included an “urgent for Dr. Fauci ” email chain, citing ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also reported that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”
  • HHS records included a grant application for research involving the coronavirus that appears to describe “gain-of-function” research involving RNA extractions from bats, experiments on viruses, attempts to develop a chimeric virus and efforts to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone.
  • HHS records showed the State Department and NIAID knew immediately in January 2020 that China was withholding COVID data, which was hindering risk assessment and response by public health officials.
  • University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) records showed the former director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Dr. James W. Le Duc warned Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of potential investigations into the COVID issue by Congress.
  • HHS records regarding biodistribution studies and related data for the COVID-19 vaccines showed a key component of the vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), were found outside the injection site, mainly the liver, adrenal glands, spleen and ovaries of test animals, eight to 48 hours after injection.
  • Records from the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) revealed safety lapses and violations at U.S. biosafety laboratories that conduct research on dangerous agents and toxins.
  • HHS records included emails between National Institutes of Health (NIH) then-Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19.
  • HHS records showed that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020.
  • Fauci emails included his approval of a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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