NIH requests delay in federal ivermectin deception case

NIH requests delay in federal ivermectin deception case

NIH has filed a response to the federal court complaint Yim v. NIH. I am the plaintiff in that case. Their filing is in the form of a request for a stay in order “to answer Plaintiff’s complaint and ask the Court to hold a telephone conference call with the parties to discuss whether the NIH’s response has mooted out this suit.”

The NIH refers to a letter sent from the NIH FOIA office to me. The letter provided a link to the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. The NIH further stated in that letter that: “The letter informed Mr. Yim that the documents posted on NIH’s website were responsive to his FOIA request in full.” I had made a FOIA request for all updates to the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines from January, 2021 that had been endorsed by a vote of the Panel.

The letter also provided excerpts from emails between the plaintiff (myself) and the attorney representing the NIH. The letter summarized that discussion by stating: “Based on these communications, it appears that Mr. Yim believes the records do not exist when in fact they are publicly available on NIH’s website.”

In response, I filed a letter with the court requesting for the court to reject NIH’s request. I also attached the full email correspondence with the attorney representing the NIH. The letter also highlighted a relevant section of the email discussion.

NIH: “There is some confusion on my part. I am not sure which record you would like NIH to claim does not exist. The records you requested do exist. The search conducted by the FOIA office revealed that the requested records have been made public and are posted on the aforementioned website ….”

YIM: “I can accept that response If NIH is able to substantiate their claim by producing the specific record.”

NIH: “Thank you for your response. To be clear, when you say ‘substantiate their claim by producing the specific record’ are you saying that you cannot access the public website where the documents are located? The documents responsive to your request are located on the website. The website is open to the public and you can get the documents at any time. Again, as previously provided, here are the direct links: The link is here. Down along the left hand side of the page is a link to the guidelines archive where all previous versions reside here.”

To be clear, the court case is over if they just provide this link: here.

That link is to the NIH ivermectin recommendation from January. The reason that they do not provide that link is because there was no vote of the Panel to endorse that specific recommendation.

Responses

  1. So to summarize… We want them to admit there was no vote, and they’re not wanting to admit that? They point you to a public web page which doesn’t confirm or deny a vote was held on the recommendation/statement. They don’t point you to the PDF (the Panel’s statement) because that (somehow) confirms that a vote was not taken? I don’t see where the PDF confirms or denies a vote by the panel. Sorry to be so dim.

    1. FOIA requests need to be stated in terms of a request for a record. The FOIA request was:

      “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)”

      There was only one update to the Guidelines in January. If they provide the pdf to that update, the update was endorsed by a vote of the panel. If they cannot provide that pdf, that update was not endorsed by a vote of the panel.

  2. Please keep pressing. It appears that the NIH attorney is deliberately trying to make your request seem obtuse.