Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday asking if the agency would investigate reports from pilots who have claimed they had an adverse response to COVID vaccination.
Johnson, a strong opponent of vaccine mandates, asked in the letter for more information about recent medical testing decisions from the FAA and if it was aware of any adverse events related to COVID vaccination. The letter was sent to Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen and Federal Air Surgeon Susan Northrup.
“The vaccine injured deserve to be seen, heard & believed,” Johnson said on Twitter. “@FAANews – are you aware of the COVID-19 vaccine injuries in the aviation industry?”
The Wisconsin Republican’s letter covered a variety of topics related to the COVID vaccine, including a question about new parameters adopted by the FAA in October related to AV block. AV block occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively because the electrical signal controlling the heartbeat is blocked, or partially blocked, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This can cause dizziness, fainting, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
Some had speculated that the new parameters might be linked to COVID vaccination. According to Johnson, a representative from the FAA told him last week that “the change has nothing to do with Covid vaccinations.”
“New scientific evidence enabled the FAA to safely raise the tolerance used to screen for a certain heart condition. The update was an effort to save pilots the expense of an unnecessary cardiac evaluation that did not contribute to a fly or no-fly decision,” the FAA rep said.
Yet Johnson said in the letter that “questions still remain regarding the FAA’s decision to issue this change and its awareness of adverse events connected to the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Johnson’s letter also included a list of five pilots who he said had adverse events related to COVID vaccination. The reported reactions of the pilots included erratic heart rate, chest pain, and high blood pressure.
“It remains unclear what, if anything, the FAA has done as it relates to these individuals’ experiences or if it is actively monitoring COVID-19 vaccine adverse events in the aviation industry,” Johnson wrote.
The senator later asked the officials if they were aware of any pilots who had “COVID-19 vaccine adverse effects,” or were investigating any incidents of adverse effects.
The FAA announced on December 12, 2020 that it had “determined that pilots may receive the vaccine under the conditions of their FAA-issue airman medical certification.” Johnson asked for records on how this decision was made.
Johnson, who has been suspended from YouTube in the past for vaccine “misinformation,” wants a response to his inquiry by February 10.