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DeSantis introduces new Florida surgeon general

Dr. Joseph Ladapo comes from UCLA Health

Dr. Joseph Lapado was previously at UCLA and was introduced in his new post by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday in Tallahassee.
Dr. Joseph Lapado was previously at UCLA and was introduced in his new post by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday in Tallahassee.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that Florida has a new surgeon general.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo has been hired to replace Scott Rivkees who has not been seen in many months.

Ladapo comes to Florida from UCLA. DeSantis said he was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Last month Ladapo wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Masks Are a Distraction From the Pandemic Reality,” saying that COVID-19 mask mandates may “have unintended consequences that outweigh the benefits.”

He said Tuesday after being introduced in his new post that there’s been too much emphasis on COVID vaccines.

In a statement distributed by DeSantis’ office, Ladapo said: “We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear. From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by Governor DeSantis’ leadership and determination to ensure that Floridians are afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans. It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida.”

Dr. Joseph Ladapo comes from UCLA and replaces Scott Rivkees, who has not been seen in months.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo comes from UCLA and replaces Scott Rivkees, who has not been seen in months.

DeSantis released a statement, saying: “Dr. Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with a superb background. He has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research. Dr. Ladapo will bring great leadership to the Department of Health. I would also like to thank both Dr. Scott Rivkees and Dr. Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of Floridians.”

Ladapo’s bio on UCLA’s website says he graduated from Wake Forest University and received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

According to that bio, Ladapo’s “primary research interests include assessing the cost-effectiveness of diagnostic technologies and reducing the population burden of cardiovascular disease. ... Previously, he served as a faculty member in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and as a Staff Fellow at the Food and Drug Administration.”

Click here to see his CV.