By J.M. Phelps
A service member who earlier this year blew the whistle and disclosed data from a Pentagon medical database showing a spike in the rate of myocarditis in the military in 2021, after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, is going public.
The whistleblower is active-duty Navy Medical Service Corps officer Lt. Ted Macie. He has also revealed new data showing a substantial rise in accidents, assaults, self-harm, and suicide attempts in the military in 2021, compared to the average from 2016 to 2021.
This includes a 147 percent increase in intentional self-harm incidents among service members and an 828 percent increase in injuries from assaults.
Lt. Macie told The Epoch Times that he began “keeping an eye on" a defense medical database when another whistleblower alerted him to a rise in health-related incidents in the winter of 2021/2022.
The Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) is a depository of all diagnoses—recorded using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes—when an active service member is seen on or off base by a military or civilian provider. The database doesn't include any personally identifiable information of service members.
In January, Lt. Macie and his wife traveled to Washington with a report of the data that he collected from DMED.
It showed that diagnoses of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation, increased in 2021 by 130.5 percent over the average number of cases in the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. Myocarditis is a serious condition that can lead to death.
All four of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States can cause myocarditis, according to U.S. officials. COVID-19 can also cause myocarditis, though some experts say that the data on that front is weaker.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated the vaccines in 2021, a requirement that remained in place until Congress forced its withdrawal in late 2022.
The data also showed spikes in diagnoses of pulmonary embolism (41.2 percent), blood clots in the lungs, ovarian dysfunction (38.2 percent), and "complications and ill-defined descriptions of heart disease" (37.7 percent).
Lt. Macie downloaded the data almost a year after the Pentagon said it fixed a data corruption issue with the DMED.
In 2022, other military whistleblowers reported shocking spikes in disease rates after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine. But the Pentagon responded that those figures weren't correct because some diagnoses in the years 2016 to 2020 hadn't been counted, an issue stemming from "corrupt" data.
After the Pentagon said the issue was corrected, Lt. Macie and others—including 1st Lt. Mark Bashaw, a preventive medicine officer in the Army, Navy Lt. Billy Moseley, Army Surgeon Lt. Col. Theresa Long, and Army doctor Maj. Samuel Sigoloff—noticed that there were still concerning signs of increases in diagnoses, such as myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.
Since word spread that Lt. Macie was the only active-duty member at his command who didn’t receive the COVID-19 vaccine and was actively suing the secretary of defense, people began to come to him in confidence, telling him about adverse reactions, which they were convinced were “from the shot,” he said.
“These anecdotal, but compelling, personal injuries were a motivator to get things on the right track,” Lt. Macie said.
After verifying Lt. Macie's report with the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the top Republican on that panel, sent a letter (pdf) to Mr. Austin in March asking the Pentagon to confirm Lt. Macie's data.
Lt. Macie had suspected that the Pentagon wouldn't respond, based on his experience of previous requests made within the department going unfulfilled.
“In the event our suspicions were correct, I kept additional data to reveal as soon as the data we brought [to Washington] was confirmed, or after being ignored for some time,” he said.
Much to his surprise, he said, the Pentagon, in a July reply (pdf) to Mr. Johnson's letter, confirmed that his data was accurate.
In the Pentagon's response, Gilbert Cisneros Jr., undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, pointed to data on the rate of cases per 100,000 person-years, a way to measure risk across a certain period of time. For almost all the conditions that showed an increase in cases in 2021, he stated, the new case rate was higher for service members with a prior COVID-19 infection than for those with a prior COVID-19 vaccination.
"This suggests that it was more likely to be [COVID-19] infection and not COVID-19 vaccination that was the cause," Mr. Cisneros stated.
Lt. Macie said he plans to bring the additional data he kept up his chain of command “with the aim of a resolution and validation for injured service members.”
"But I’m not holding my breath," he said.
Lt. Macie has also brought this new data to the office of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), hoping to get the attention of the House Armed Services Committee, a panel that Mr. Gaetz sits on. Lt. Macie isn't aware of what Mr. Gaetz and his staff will do, but the lawmaker's office acknowledged in June that “they will take a look,” he said.
The Epoch Times reached out to Mr. Gaetz's office for comment, but didn't receive a reply by press time.