Sen. Book on state’s top doctor: ‘Floridians deserve better’

Florida Sen. Lauren Book walked out during a hearing with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

MIAMI – After Republicans in the Florida Senate confirmed Dr. Joseph Ladapo as Florida’s surgeon general, Sen. Lauren Book said Thursday the state’s residents deserve better.

Book was among the Florida Democrats who decided to stage a walkout during the confirmation hearing of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pick on Wednesday in Tallahassee.

“We got a lot of pleasantries. We got a lot of niceties and a lot of verbal Jiu-Jitsu ... but no direct answers,” Book said about the hearing, which she described as a “dog and pony show.”

State Republicans confirmed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's nominee Dr. Joseph Ladapo on Wednesday. . (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Ladapo refused to answer questions after the Florida Department of Health placed Dr. Raul Pino Orange County’s top public health official, on administrative leave for criticizing the department’s vaccination rate.

“This individual is side by side with our Governor spewing false information and that is extremely dangerous to Floridians and we believe again that 21 million Floridians deserve better,” Book said.

Last year, Ladapo refused to wear a face mask during a meeting in the office of Florida Sen. Tina Polsky, a breast cancer patient. State Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Republican, condemned Ladapo’s refusal. Polsky is a Democrat.

This Week In South Florida: Jan. 23

The big news of the week involved Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, not for what she did but for what she said.

About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.