NEWS & ANALYSIS

House Republicans Introduce Bill to Make COVID-19 Data Available to the Public


House Republicans on Thursday introduced a bill that would require all federal agencies to make COVID-19 records available for public review within 100 days. 

The Answer COVID FOIAs Now Act, sponsored by Texas Rep. Chip Roy, would order the head of each federal agency to clear all FOIA requests related to COVID-19 treatments, as well as anything related to gain-of-function research, the Daily Caller reports.

The bill was inspired by the FDA’s request to keep all documents pertaining to the Pfizer vaccine approval private until 2097. 

“The American people have been misled, and information related to COVID vaccines has been hidden from the public eye or delayed in perpetuity by our public health ‘experts,’ throughout this pandemic,” Roy said. “The FDA’s request to have until 2097 to fully release documents related to the approval of the Pfizer vaccine is absurd. The American people deserve transparent and honest information; that is why I am proud to introduce this bill to bring necessary accountability and transparency for COVID-related FOIA requests. This is a first step among many needed reforms that will address the rank incompetence and dishonesty federal agencies have displayed throughout this pandemic.”  

“We must ensure the public can trust the very government institutions they pay for to serve them with integrity,” the bill’s co-sponsor, South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, added. “Fearmongering, virtue signaling, and, at best, inconsistent messaging have eroded the faith in the independence of these agencies and public health officials at large. It is imperative that federal agencies follow through on any FOIA requests in a timely manner on any COVID-related issue. I am proud to work with Rep. Roy on this legislation to restore the public’s faith in our government.”