Florida surgeon general sets record straight on COVID-19 vaccines

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida's 6th surgeon general, said COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing the likelihood of severe illness.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s 6th surgeon general, said he wants to make sure that his positions are clear since he had to deal with some misinformation during his politically charged confirmation process.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing the likelihood of severe illness, he said. It was his response to accusations that he was not prioritizing the promotion of vaccines during the pandemic.

Ladapo also said Sen. Jason W. B. Pizzo was wrong when he accused him of being a “Yes man to a politician.” Democrats worried about his support of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s opposition to face mask and vaccine mandates.

“One of the things that we have lost sight of during this pandemic, and really far in the rearview mirror is choice, and this has actually been a cornerstone of public health,” Ladapo said.

Florida Senate Republicans approved Ladapo’s nomination on Wednesday after DeSantis nominated him in September. Ladapo, a former UCLA researcher with Harvard degrees, said he relies on data.

“I didn’t like it when people said that I didn’t take care of patients with COVID because it is factually incorrect,” Ladapo said.

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Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."