Three of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies have been served with civil investigative demand (CID) letters from the Texas Attorney General’s Office (OAG), with Attorney General Ken Paxton announcing investigations into their COVID-19 vaccines.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson were all three served with CID letters requesting a litany of documents and records as part of the OAG’s investigation into whether the pharmaceutical giants engaged in “gain of function” research, misled the public regarding the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, and misrepresented the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine.
The OAG is tasked with enforcing violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (TDTPA), which protects consumers from various types of business fraud; violations of the act can carry hefty penalties.
As part of the investigation, the three companies will be forced to turn over a laundry list of non-public records, including communications, studies, and research, and specifically highlight subjects being investigated such as gain of function research.
Gain of function is the practice of manipulating a virus to have properties that it does not possess in nature, including making it more contagious or deadly, which is done to better understand the virus and its possible dangerous mutations.
“The development of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the representations made by and knowledge of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, are of profound interest to the public’s health and welfare. This investigation aims to discover the truth,” Paxton said in a press statement.
“This pandemic was a deeply challenging time for Americans. If any company illegally took advantage of consumers during this period or compromised people’s safety to increase their profits, they will be held responsible,” he added.
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