Judicial Watch announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services seeking all records related to the so-called COVID-19 Community Corps (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02315)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after HHS failed to reply to an April 19, 2021, FOIA request for:
All records regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ “COVID-19 Community Corps” program, which was announced by the department on April 1, 2021. This request includes the following:
All records depicting the application process and selection criteria for organizations participating in the program.
All records related to the consideration of any organization considered for participation in the program that were not selected.
All records concerning any awarded or proposed related grants or contracts with any organization participating in the program.
All related records of communication between any representative of the Department of Health and Human Services and any representative of any organization participating in the program.
The HHS website describes the COVID-19 Community Corps as “an initiative to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and reinforce basic prevention measures.” The government program also seeks to enlist minors (16 and older). The site reports “over 4,000 organizations and almost 10,000 individuals across the United States have joined the COVID-19 Community Corps. They’ve committed to take action to encourage their families, friends, and members of their communities to get vaccinated for COVID-19.”
“The federal government organizing a ‘corps’ of private individuals, minors, corporations, and unions to push controversial COVID policies is concerning,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Also concerning is the Biden administration’s unlawful refusal to turn over records about this program to the American people.”