Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) confronted Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel on Wednesday over the occurrences of myocarditis in young men who take the COVID-19 vaccine.
While public health officials downplay the risk of young men ages 16-24 developing myocarditis, or inflation of the heart muscle, after receiving the COVID vaccine, the potential vaccine side effect has received a lot of attention in scientific studies.
At a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, Paul wasted no time when it was his turn to question Bancel.
"Is there a higher interest or a higher incidence of myocarditis among adolescent males 16 to 24 after taking your vaccine?" the Kentucky Republican asked Bancel.
When Bancel tried not to answer the question, Paul reminded him the answer should be "a yes or no," and he asked the question again. This time Bancel addressed it and pushed the dominant narrative about myocarditis and the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The data from the CDC actually have shown that there's less myocarditis for people who get the vaccine versus who get COVID infection," Bancel said.
When Paul followed up to clarify Bancel's answer, the Moderna CEO reiterated his answer. Paul responded by entering into the congressional record six peer-reviewed studies showing that Bancel's answer is not correct.
"That is not true," Paul told Bancel. "And I'd like to enter into the record six peer-reviewed papers from the Journal of Vaccine, the Annals of Medicine that say the complete opposite of what you say."
That's when Paul revealed he recently spoke with the president of Moderna, who allegedly acknowledged the myocarditis risk that Bancel said does not exist.
"I spoke with your president just last week, and he readily acknowledged, in private, that, yes, there is an increased risk of myocarditis," Paul said. "The fact that you can't say it in public is quite disturbing."
During the tense exchange, Bancel also admitted that his children have received "three or four" COVID vaccine jabs. He also disclosed a $400 million payment to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from Moderna as part of deal between the government agency and Moderna for mRNA technology and intellectual property rights.
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