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Tags: florida | governor desantis | surgeon general | ladapo

Florida Surgeon General Nominee Supports Gov. DeSantis' Pandemic Policies

Ron DeSantis
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 February 2022 02:00 PM EST

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' pick for state surgeon general enthusiastically has supported the governor's policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor's choice to run the Florida Department of Health, Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, says such things as mask and vaccine mandates are policies of "fear," The New York Times reported Wednesday.

DeSantis, while trying to keep the state's economy flourishing, has resisted mandates and lockdowns. He insisted that older people should be protected from the virus but that younger people less at risk should do as they wish.

About 66% of Floridians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared with 64% of all Americans, the Times reported.

"Telling the truth, I think, is important, and I think that's what Dr. Ladapo understands," DeSantis said. "You've got to tell people the truth, and you've got to let them make decisions."

DeSantis has criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's top medical adviser, for his inconsistency in dealing with COVID-19. A new campaign ad video begins with various clips showing Fauci offering continually changing stances about masks, children in schools, and personal interaction during the pandemic.

Ladapo, 43, only supports vaccination campaigns if the shots are voluntary and will not say whether he himself has been vaccinated, the Times reported.

He has acknowledged that vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, but in October said that "adverse reactions" to vaccines should receive more attention and urged people to "stick with their intuition and their sensibilities."

Some of Ladapo's positions, such as opposition to lockdowns and mask wearing in schools, are beginning to be accepted by liberal leaders now that more people are vaccinated and cases are plummeting.

"Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies," Ladapo said, the Times reported.

The doctor also joined DeSantis in condemning the federal government for revoking emergency use authorization for Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments.

Ladapo is expected to be confirmed along party lines by the Florida Senate before the annual session concludes in mid-March. Democrats walked out of a contentious committee hearing with the nominee earlier this month.

The physician immigrated from Nigeria when he was 5, was an accomplished clinical researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, with degrees from Harvard in medicine and health policy.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' pick for state surgeon general enthusiastically has supported the governor's policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
florida, governor desantis, surgeon general, ladapo
Wednesday, 23 February 2022 02:00 PM
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