COVID-19 and concerns over the influence of pharmaceutical companies on elected officials continue to be a hot-button issue for candidates vying for political office as a movement that began earlier this month on social media garners increasing support.
Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, a practitioner in Texas and founder of Coalition of Health Freedom, has used her platform on X, to call on candidates in races across the country to make clear their position on whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be pulled off the market and to publicly pledge that they will not accept campaign donations from pharmaceutical interests.
“Want to help? It’s primary season. Let’s replace the politicians who aren’t protecting their constituents,” Dr. Bowden said in a Dec. 17. Ask your representatives … publicly whether they stand with 17,000+ doctors to support pulling the Covid shots off the market.”
The movement appears to be gathering momentum. In total, Dr. Bowden says 26 candidates and elected officials from 11 states have publicly signed on, stating that the shots must be pulled from the market.
David Lowe, a combat veteran and current stay-at-home dad who is running in the Texas Republican Primary for State Representative of District 91, told The Epoch Times that he was compelled to make the pledge out of principle.
“It is pretty clear that the numbers and the data behind the vaccine were not accurate and as a result we are looking at what is probably one of the greatest blunders in modern medical history,” said Mr. Lowe. “We started enforcing injections on people without having accurate information and it ended up costing lives.”
“This whole episode has been a dark blotch on our country and there needs to be change and that starts with our elected representatives,” added Mr. Lowe.
John Perez, who is running in the GOP primary for the House District 133 seat in Texas, cited the outsized influence pharmaceutical companies have had on the political system.
“I pledge right here and right now that I have not and will not accept donations or in-kind contributions from Big Pharma PACs or Big Pharma companies,” Mr. Perez wrote in a Dec 17 post on X, responding to Dr. Bowden’s challenge. “It comes down to individual choice and freedom – not the bottom line of big drug companies enabled by egregious government overreach.”
A poll conducted on Dr. Bowden’s social media account of her nearly 300k followers cited more than 94 percent of respondents answering that they would be “more likely” to support a candidate who did not accept money from pharmaceutical companies.
While the poll would presumably be skewed towards more right-leaning vaccine skeptics, it could prove relevant in a GOP primary in which political forecasters are predicting a number of tight races.
Candidates in New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Florida have also joined the movement with more expected as the message continues to spread across social media, according to Dr. Bowden, who says she began the call to action to expose politicians’ true interests.
“If you look at the data on the uptake of the latest COVID shot, it’s clear that most politicians are no longer getting this shot and are no longer giving them to their kids,” said Dr. Bowden.
“It is quite hypocritical; if it isn’t safe enough for their kids or themselves, how is it safer for their constituents?”
“Thousands have died from the COVID shot and no one is doing anything about it,” said Dr. Bowden.
The past two years have seen the COVID-19 vaccines become mired in controversy. The original COVID-19 vaccines were taken by more than 80 percent of Americans after officials pledged that the shots would be effective in both preventing contraction and stopping the spread of the virus.
However, once it was revealed that the shots didn’t work as promised, interest in the subsequent booster shots decreased dramatically.
Vaccines could also be attributed to widespread reports of negative health outcomes believed to have been caused by the shots. COVID-19 vaccines have been named the primary suspect in over 1.5 million adverse event reports, according to the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. The numbers could be even higher. An FDA-funded study out of Harvard found that VAERS cases represent fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events that actually occur.
Mr. Lowe says that while GOP voters have a diverse set of concerns, including crime, the border, and inflation, just because COVID-19 is off the front pages of the newspapers doesn’t mean it is out of mind for the constituents he is hoping to serve in his district.
“Conservatives and everyday votes have a growing concern about the vaccines and the influence of pharmaceutical companies on our political process,” said Mr. Lowe.
“We need to acknowledge that there is an issue and that it is something that is going to affect our country for years to come,” he said.
“A lot of people on the other side of this want to move on, but if we don’t take action the next time we have a so-called pandemic what is going to stop us from committing the same errors all over again? Every person running for political office needs to take the pledge.