RFK, Jr. Calls on DOT Secretary Buttigieg to Investigate Spike in Airline Near-Misses Caused by Pilot Health Emergencies
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. today called on U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to investigate the spike in near-misses and narrowly averted airline accidents resulting from pilots incapacitated by health emergencies since 2021, coinciding with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the U.S.
In a letter to Buttigieg, Kennedy wrote:
“Secretary Buttigieg, the safety of pilots, cabin crew, airline passengers, and the general public is not and never has been a partisan issue. Everything contained within this letter pertains to fundamental issues of public health and safety, which you, the DOT, the FAA, and the Biden Administration profess to uphold and to protect.
The changes to FAA guidelines and the lack of publicly available evidence on which these changes rest, along with the increasing number of incidents involving the incapacitation or vaccine-related injury of pilots, are highly concerning.”
A Children’s Health Defense (CHD) analysis of raw data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined there was a marked increase, on a per-flight basis, in medical emergency-related flight diversions in both 2021 and 2022, compared to 2019 and prior years, Kennedy said.
Similarly, there was a marked increase in medical emergency diversions on a per-passenger basis in 2021 compared to 2019 and prior years, while the 2022 figure is higher than those for 2018 and 2019, indicating an increase in medical emergencies occurring in the air, when adjusted for the reduced number of flights and passengers in the 2021 and 2022 calendar years compared to the pre-2020 period.
Kennedy said the FAA violated its own guidelines by recommending COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use for pilots, contrary to the agency’s policy of prohibiting pilots from taking any medical product that has been on the market for less than 12 months.
Kennedy’s 13-page letter citing 69 sources detailed evidence the FAA loosened medical restrictions for conditions such as myocarditis and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, both documented adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccines.
The letter outlines 12 questions Kennedy said Buttigieg and the FAA need to answer for the American public and demands a thorough investigation into whether COVID-19 vaccines may be endangering pilots, flight crews and the public.
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