GOP lawmakers confirm Florida’s controversial Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo

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Joseph Ladapo
Florida Surgeon Gen. Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo before a bill signing by Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Brandon, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reappointment of Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo was confirmed Thursday by the Republican-controlled Senate over objections from Democrats.

The Senate voted 27-12 along party lines to confirm Ladapo, who was first appointed in September 2021.

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, criticized Ladapo before Thursday’s vote, pointing to a report in the Tampa Bay Times about a controversial recommendation by Ladapo that young men not receive COVID-19 vaccinations because of risks of cardiac complications.

Polsky said Ladapo omitted information “that showed it is “more dangerous to get COVID than to get the vaccine” for the young men.

“If we just blindly vote through this man, we are saying it’s OK to lie on scientific studies that will potentially determine the outcome of someone’s life,” Polsky said.

In response to the Times report, Ladapo said his “decisions continue to be led by the raw science — not fear.”

Ladapo, who doubles as secretary of the Florida Department of Health, has joined DeSantis in questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, opposing lockdowns and rejecting mask and vaccination requirements.

The Senate also confirmed 15 other agency heads Thursday.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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