FDA Executive Who Said Government Plans to Push Annual COVID-19 Shots Speaks Out

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
February 24, 2022 Updated: February 24, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) executive who was captured on hidden camera saying the U.S. government plans to push annual COVID-19 shots is claiming that the way the video footage was presented is misleading.

Christopher Cole, executive officer of the medical countermeasures initiative at the FDA, told a Project Veritas reporter that President Joe Biden “wants to inoculate as many people as possible.”

“You’ll have to get an annual shot. I mean, it hasn’t been formally announced yet because they don’t want to rile everyone up.”

Cole also said that the FDA was going to grant emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to age 4. “Just from everything I heard,” he said, describing the EUA process as having a lower bar than the regular approval process.

The FDA was poised this month to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for young children but announced on Feb. 11 that officials were delaying the decision.

Cole took issue with the two videos released by Project Veritas that showed him talking about vaccines and related matters, he told The Epoch Times on LinkedIn.

The videos “were from an edited private conversation and done without my permission or knowledge,” he said. “Partial statements were taken to summarize points completely changing them in an effort to sensationalize the article.”

An article published on the website of Project Veritas summarizing portions of the conversation “is not factually correct and does not represent the full conversation and is misleading in the portrayal of the conversation,” he said.

Asked which parts weren’t factually correct, Cole said he was told to refer all media inquiries to the FDA’s media office.

“So I cannot respond at this point in time,” he said.

“We stand by our accurate reporting of the words said by Mr. Cole on video tape,” a Project Veritas spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email.

An FDA spokesperson declined to answer a number of questions, including why the agency seemed to cast doubt on whether it was actually Cole in the videos.

“The person purportedly in the video does not work on vaccine matters and does not represent the views of the FDA,” a spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an earlier statement.

The initiative that Cole oversees is described as “[ensuring] that medical countermeasures … are safe, effective, and secure.” The FDA website says the program is involved in work relating to COVID-19 vaccines.

Cole told Project Veritas that his agency “oversees vaccines,” including vaccine approval.

The FDA also stated that the agency doesn’t yet know if people will need additional shots past the three authorized for the general public, and four recommended for people with weakened immune systems.

Cole said he started working with the FDA more than 20 years ago and that during his time there, the agency has “always based its approvals of vaccines and emergency use approvals (EUAs) of vaccines on good science and still does.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.