Florida’s new surgeon general skeptical of vaccines, opposes masks

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Florida Department of Health office in Viera, Florida, on September 1, 2021.

Enlarge / Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Florida Department of Health office in Viera, Florida, on September 1, 2021. (credit: Getty | SOPA images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that the state’s new surgeon general will be Joseph Ladapo, a UCLA researcher known for opposing evidence-based mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns.

Instead, Dr. Ladapo advocates for the controversial idea of embracing “the reality of viral spread” to achieve herd immunity.

“Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health,” Ladapo said in a press conference Tuesday after DeSantis announced his appointment. Fear, he said, has “been unfortunately a centerpiece of health policy in the United States ever since the beginning of the pandemic and it’s over here. Expiration data: it’s done.”

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