Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s top health official are directly contradicting federal health recommendations, saying there’s not enough evidence a new COVID booster provides benefits that outweigh risks
ByThe Associated Press
September 13, 2023, 3:29 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s top health official are directly contradicting federal health recommendations, saying there’s not enough evidence a new COVID booster provides benefits that outweigh risks.
DeSantis, who is running for president, and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo discussed the vaccine with doctors Wednesday on a Zoom call livestreamed on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. It repeated much of what they said a week ago during a live event in Jacksonville, in which they warned against the vaccine the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved this week.
Ladapo’s previous warnings against COVID-19 vaccines prompted a public letter from federal health agencies saying his claims were harmful to the public.
Lapado received his medical degree and a Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University. He was a doctor and health policy researcher at UCLA when DeSantis appointed him in Sept. 2021. He since has attracted national scrutiny over his close alignment with the governor in opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other health policies embraced by the federal government.
In his two years in Florida, Democrats have criticized his guidance on COVID, including his refusal to say whether he received a vaccine. At the height of the pandemic, Ladapo refused to wear a mask during a meeting with a Democratic senator who was undergoing cancer treatment. Senate Democrats later stormed out of a confirmation hearing after accusing Ladapo of being evasive.
DeSantis said Wednesday that COVID measures have become a flashpoint in society and his state has taken a different approach.