On Tuesday Governor DeSantis announced Dr. Joseph Ladapo as the new Florida Surgeon General who also serves as the Secretary of Florida’s Department of Health.
Dr. Ladapo signed the Great Barrington Declaration which was a statement urging herd immunity and rejecting any reasonable efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In his introduction as Surgeon General to the state, Dr. Ladapo said ““Florida will completely reject fear.” This sounds more like a political statement than a medical one to me.
Even more interesting is that Dr. Ladapo has been a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, which has openly advocated any measure that restores “normalcy.” The Journal Editorial page has consistently pushed economic and political themes when dealing with COVID.
Here are three WSJ op-eds by Dr. Ladapo.
- Opinion by Joseph Ladapo, Wall Street Journal: Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised?
- Opinion by Joseph Ladapo, Wall Street Journal: Vaccine Mandates Can’t Stop Covid’s Spread
- Opinion by Joseph Ladapo, Wall Street Journal: Masks Are a Distraction From the Pandemic Reality
Interestingly, Dr. Ladapo was a proponent of hydroxychlorquine, promoting it in an op-ed for the New York Daily News.
- Opinion by Joseph Ladapo, New York Daily News: Let’s all be honest about hydroxychloroquine: Evidence is more positive than many in the medical community admit
Dr. Ladapo’s appointment is a further step for Governor DeSantis away from his early 2021 vaccine advocacy to embracing full-on vaccines hesitancy bordering on anti-vaxxxing. As we discussed on Monday, this change is being made for nakedly political reasons.
Additionally, the Governor continues to surround himself with individuals who are aggressively against masking, even though Florida’s COVID numbers have remarkably comes down dramatically in the month, since Florida schools and businesses began pushing masks again as a way to mitigate what was in early August an uncontrollable spread of the virus.
Masking has brought Florida back from the brink, and ironically the Governor’s head is only above water because of the efforts of local officials and businesses to require mask wearing. Yet DeSantis continues to push any sort of anti-masking message he can in the name of “freedom.” in his quest to consolidate more power in his own personal hands.
The appointment of Dr. Ladapo is just further evidence of DeSantis drift into dangerous territory.