“There are lots of good pathways to health, and vaccination’s not the only one,” state’s new top doctor says.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced a new Surgeon General and Secretary of the Department of Health for the state of Florida on Tuesday, and the appointee made headlines in his first public speech.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the new Florida Surgeon General, has an MD from Harvard, is a professor at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, and was previously an Associate Professor at UCLA.
Addressing Floridians on Tuesday, Ladapo said, “We’re done with fear. That’s something that’s been, unfortunately, a centerpiece of health policy in the United States ever since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s over here, expiration date, it’s done.”
“The state should be promoting good health, and vaccination isn’t the only path to that,” Ladapo continued. “It’s been treated almost like a religion, and that’s just senseless, right? There are lots of good pathways to health, and vaccination’s not the only one. We support measures for good health, vaccination, losing weight, eating more fruits and vegetables.”
The doctor also spoke out against vaccine mandates, telling Floridians, “We need to respect human rights. People do have autonomy over their lives. It’s not OK, it’s not virtuous, and it’s not right to just take away those rights from individuals.”
The new Surgeon General used the closing of schools as an example of a failure made by some government officials, saying, “As a perfect example of how glaringly we’ve ignored what public health really means is how we’ve just brazenly pulled children, who need the structure of school and need the structure of a routine in their lives, out of school. It’s terrible to do it for all kids, but we’ve also done it for kids with disabilities, and people have hardly even batted an eye.”
Dr. Ladapo took questions from the press, and when one reporter asked about public distrust of health officials, the new Surgeon General didn’t hold back in criticizing his peers in the medical industry.
“Part of why [fear] is an issue is because of the climate of distrust that has been engendered over the past year and a half, and that was the direct result of scientists – my colleagues, some of them – taking the science and basically misrepresenting it to fit their agendas, their interests, what they wanted to see people do,” he explained.
Another reporter asked Dr. Ladapo about natural immunity and Covid variants, and he noted that what his colleagues are saying and doing regarding those who have recovered from Covid “is one of the most startling aspects of the pandemic.”
“You don’t need to go to medical school to look at the data and see that there’s really great protection, terrific protection, durable protection, robust protection, variant protection that confers some resistance to variants, and obviously the story is still being written, so we don’t really know exactly what’s going to happen in the future. There’s tremendous data that supports the fact that natural immunity protects people from getting very ill and also protects people from being infected again.”
Governor DeSantis chimed in at one point and told the press his theory on why monoclonal antibodies were not used last year and why they are now being rationed by the federal government.
DeSantis stated, “I do think that one of the reasons why [monoclonal antibody treatment] was not something that was put out there very publicly by the experts and by the powers that be in D.C. is because they feared that if you tell people there’s an effective treatment, you tell people COVID’s a treatable illness, they feared some people would say, ‘Well, you know, maybe I won’t get vaccinated, I’ll just get the treatment,’ and so they didn’t want that message out because they feared how people would behave.”
The governor called the Biden administration’s decision to limit Florida’s monoclonal antibody doses “dead wrong,” asking, “Why are they targeting Florida?”
“Biden, he loves talking about Florida,” he added. “He hates Florida more than anything, and this is absolutely going to hurt people. We’re going to work like hell to make sure that anyone who needs it… I hope to have an announcement on that soon… If they don’t have enough of it, that’s mismanagement on their part… There’s a time for politics, I get that, but to be so obsessed with trying to kneecap Florida any way you can that you would take away life-saving treatments—I’m sorry, some things should be beyond politics.”