Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.
On March 29, 2021 plaintiff Jin-Pyong Peter Yim (myself) filed a complaint in federal court in the District of New Jersey claiming that the National Institutes of Health violated the Freedom of Information Act. Yim had made the following request to the NIH:
“All updates to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines that were endorsed by a vote of the Panel. (Date Range for Record Search: From 01/01/2021 To 01/28/2021)”
The intent of the request was to not, in fact, to obtain any document since all of the Guidelines are publicly available, but to determine if a vote had been held on the current recommendation which was updated in that time period. The FOIA request was a question about the integrity of this federal agency.
The receipt date of the FOIA request was January 28, 2021. By law, the NIH has 20 days excluding weekends and federal holidays to respond to such a request either by providing the requested documents or stating the relevant exemption to FOIA that prevents the documents from being provided. In unusual...
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