In a letter to President Joe Biden, Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy asks the president to fix the “catastrophically inefficient” surveillance system for vaccine injuries.

Kennedy reminds Biden that first as a candidate, “and later as our president, you promised to give Americans a COVID vaccine program rooted in honesty, transparency and rigorous science.” 

Kennedy asks Biden to “intervene now to fix the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and order the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to adopt an open-source, science-based, functional and verifiable surveillance system that can rebuild public trust.”

Read the letter:

March 15, 2021

President Joe Biden

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden:

We write to ask you to fix the HHS’s catastrophically inefficient surveillance system for vaccine injuries. Genuine transparency, robust science (unbiased data gathering and analytics), and a functional surveillance system are the only ways to end widespread vaccine hesitancy, and to build public trust for the COVID-19 vaccine program.

The “Warp Speed” vaccine program allowed pharmaceutical companies to abbreviate clinical trials and rush experimental, unlicensed EUA [Emergency Use Authorization] vaccines to Americans in, what health officials acknowledge is, a population-wide experiment. HHS regulators justified this shortcut by promising to implement a post-licensing surveillance system that would detect vaccine injuries and allow public health authorities, physicians, and Americans to understand the risks and benefits for each of the various vaccines. However, HHS officials are instead adopting procedures designed to hide COVID vaccine injuries — particularly deaths — from the public and to obscure safety and risk profiles.

The sad reality is vaccines cause injuries and death. In the two and one-half months since the U.S. began our COVID vaccination program, there have been 31,079 injuries and 1,524 deaths reported after COVID vaccine. What is also undeniable is that the U.S. is not doing enough to find more about these injuries and deaths, and why some people are more susceptible than others to injury. In this age of individualized medicine, a mass vaccination program that abdicates all responsibility to protect vulnerable subgroups is reckless and unethical.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is useless for calculating an accurate risk/ benefit assessment. For 30 years, public health officials, including your coronavirus vaccine czar, David Kessler, have complained that HHS’s post-marketing and vaccine injury surveillance system, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), is a failure and needs to be updated. A comprehensive 2010 HHS study acknowledged that the VAERS system captures “fewer than 1% of vaccine injuries.” Similarly, a 2014 internal pharmaceutical industry study acknowledged that VAERS captures fewer than one in fifty injuries. To make matters worse, there are many anecdotal reports of people being blocked when trying to report deaths and injuries related to COVID vaccines to VAERS. And, there have been at least two times that the entire data system went down for over 48 hours.

To compensate for VAERS’ well-known deficiencies, CDC therefore created the V-safe system to supplement VAERS surveillance of COVID-19 inoculation injuries. V-safe allows recently vaccinated individuals to report injuries using a cell phone app. This system, also being voluntary, is extremely pervious and isn’t interconnected with the existing VAERS system, thus creating two voluntary reporting systems with incomplete data. Most importantly, V-safe is incapable of tabulating deaths following vaccination, since nobody self-reports their own death.

As inefficient as it is, the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System is filled with reports of elderly deaths following COVID-19 vaccines. About 73% of the reported 1,524 COVID deaths to date are over the age of 65 with average age of death 77 (CDC). Since VAERS captures “fewer than 1%,,” it is prudent to assume that the actual number of deaths of the elderly over 65 who died from the COVID vaccine could be as high as 111,200. Social media posts and news reports detailing waves of mortalities at senior care facilities and elsewhere following COVID vaccination support this higher figure.

Autopsy determining death from a vaccine adverse event is nearly impossible to achieve. CDC’s strategy for dealing with deaths following vaccination has been to publicly deny that the COVID vaccines caused any of those deaths and to work with the media and social media sites to remove and censor these reports. This approach is rank chicanery.

CDC’s pronouncement that all deaths after injection are unrelated is rank chicanery. For almost all vaccine injuries, there is no medical or scientific test — even with full autopsies, which are rare in the case of the elderly — to determine if a specific death was vaccine-related. A heart attack or stroke caused by a vaccine looks no different than a heart attack or stroke from natural causes. It takes up to ten years to debate a cause of death or injury from other vaccines in the federal Vaccine Court. How can CDC pretend to know in such short order that the vaccine definitely was not involved?

The only way to determine the risk of death from the COVID vaccines is to tabulate EVERY death in the days following vaccination and then to compare those rates to historic daily death rates in each age category. For example, in 2018, according to the CDC, the background daily death rates among Americans between age 75 and 84 is 12 per 100,000 per day. Only by knowing exactly how many people in that same age cohort die each day in the days following vaccination, can we compare to background rates and reliably judge whether there is an increased risk of death from the vaccine. If, for example, we learn that the death rate immediately following the Moderna vaccine is 30/100,000/day, while the Pfizer vaccine death rate is 12/100,000/ day, regulators can then advise seniors to take the safer vaccine. Instead of scrupulously counting each death following vaccination — as prudence and good public health policy requires — the CDC systematically dismisses all deaths after vaccination as “unrelated” to vaccines. Endeavoring to abolish vaccine injury by fiat is not science. It is propaganda. Many Americans naturally ask themselves, “Why is CDC trying to hide the injuries from the public?”

Americans watching CDC’s practice of attributing every reported case of death in the elderly following vaccination to “coincidence” are stunned by the agency’s cynicism. This practice contrasts sharply with CDC’s strategy of counting every death associated with a viral presence as a COVID death. (CDC has admitted that only 6% of deaths attributed to COVID were unambiguously caused by COVID. The remaining 94% had an average of 3.8 potentially lethal comorbidities.) Instead of transparently giving the public unbiased and reliable facts, CDC is manipulating data by adopting a double standard of inferring causality to inflate COVID deaths and dismissing causality to underestimate vaccine deaths. Unfortunately, many Americans who have been watching CDC’s blatant dishonesty in this regard have concluded that the agency has deliberately and consistently manipulated its data collection and regulatory authority to serve a political agenda. The resulting mistrust of the regulators is the number one driver of vaccine hesitancy.

Your Executive Order doesn’t address the problem. We know you are aware of the issues and gaps regarding vaccine surveillance as your Jan. 21, 2021 executive order outlines, however, the order doesn’t require a real fix by ordering a true surveillance system of all vaccine adverse events and death (beyond and including COVID). Rather it requires a “review” of data. A “review” of bad and incomplete data will yield a bad or incomplete report.

First as a candidate, and later as our President, you promised to give Americans a COVID vaccine program rooted in honesty, transparency, and rigorous science. We ask that you intervene now to fix VAERS and order HHS regulators to adopt an open-source, science-based, functional and verifiable surveillance system that can rebuild public trust.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman

Children’s Health Defense