On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo as the state’s Surgeon General and Secretary of the Department of Health:
Today, I appointed Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD as Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. He has a remarkable academic and medical career, and will bring great leadership to @healthyFla. Watch: https://t.co/7b3KnwIpjI
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 21, 2021
Dr. Ladapo said during the announcement that under his leadership, “Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health”:
"Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health. That's been, unfortunately, a centerpiece of health policy in the US ever since the beginning of the pandemic. And it's over here, expiration date, it's done.” – Dr. Ladapo https://t.co/3I2zqEJZRM
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) September 21, 2021
Dr. Ladapo brings a “very serious medical background” to the position, including three degrees from Harvard and previously as an associate professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine:
Important to point out here – Dr. Ladapo does come with a very serious medical background.
Wake Forest, Harvard, etc.
Here's a part of his CV. pic.twitter.com/nBfXXW6M1x
— Jay O'Brien (@jayobtv) September 21, 2021
But he’s already being trashed by the media, including this trash tweet from The Guardian that labeled him “anti-vax”:
Ron DeSantis appoints anti-mask and anti-vax doctor as Florida’s surgeon general https://t.co/UwJtfiimxt
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) September 22, 2021
He opposes a vaccine mandate, which is not at all “anti-vax.” The Guardian appears to acknowledge that pesky fact in the article itself:
A medical professor who is opposed to mask and vaccine mandates, attacked concern over the pandemic as “Covid mania” and likened the eating of fruit and vegetables to the benefits of vaccination has been named as Florida’s new surgeon general.
Not to be outdone by The Guardian, possible DeSantis challenger Charlie Crist added that Dr. Ladapo is a “vaccine skeptic”:
.@GovRonDeSantis appointing Dr. Joseph Ladapo — an anti-masker and vaccine skeptic — as surgeon general is a complete slap in the face to the families of the more than 50,000 Floridians who have died from COVID.https://t.co/e0HvZQmjXZ
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) September 21, 2021
Again, not true. Here’s what he wrote just a few days ago in the WSJ:
Vaccine mandates will prolong political conflicts over Covid-19, and they are an increasingly unsustainable strategy designed to achieve an unattainable goal, writes Joseph A. Ladapo https://t.co/BpYrXGt13p
— WSJ Editorial Page (@WSJopinion) September 17, 2021
This alleged “anti-vax” or “vaccine skeptic” wrote that the “good news is that vaccines continue to afford significant protection against serious illness from Covid-19”:
The good news is that the vaccines continue to afford significant protection against serious illness from Covid-19. The response from many vaccine advocates has been to promote boosters, and the momentum behind third shots is outpacing the limited data available. The reality is that a more practical approach to managing Covid requires a diverse set of strategies, including using outpatient therapies.
And he pointed out that it’s not clear how these mandates are going to work going forward especially with the need for possible booster shots:
Vaccine mandates can’t end the spread of the virus as effectiveness declines and new variants emerge. So how can they be a sensible policy? Is it sensible to consign tens of millions of people to an indeterminate number of boosters and the threat of job loss if it isn’t clear more doses will stop the spread, either?
He concluded, “the sensible approach, based on the available data, is to promote vaccines for the purpose of preventing serious illness. You don’t need a mandate for this”:
The sensible approach, based on the available data, is to promote vaccines for the purpose of preventing serious illness. You don’t need a mandate for this—adults can make their own decisions. But mandates will prolong political conflicts over Covid-19, and they are an increasingly unsustainable strategy designed to achieve an unattainable goal.
As for the “anti-mask” comments, following the science is now “anti-mask”?”
From @WSJopinion: The most reasonable conclusion from the available scientific evidence is that community mask mandates have—at most—a small effect on the course of the pandemic, writes Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo of UCLA https://t.co/QgcXcvVMim
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 29, 2020
He’s also written previously on the need to recognize that we’ll be living with Covid for quite some time now, a position that’s pretty much universally accepted at this point:
The choice for society is whether to live with the virus or to live for it, writes Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo. If reason finally prevails over panic, policy makers could reopen schools and focus on the vulnerable. https://t.co/Dv6xM72Mwx via @WSJ
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) September 16, 2020