"Hey, I know! We'll hire a black guy with a Harvard degree who's batshit crazy, he'll take the heat, and I'll look presidential by comparison!" I can just imagine the strategy session.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a controversial UCLA medical professor and critic of lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates and other mitigation measures, has been named as Florida's new surgeon general, DeathSantis announced Tuesday. Basically, Lapido's a covid whack job, and if I lived in Florida and had any other place to go, I would get the hell out. Via Ars Technica:
"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 date: it's done."
Florida has been one of the hardest-hit states in the pandemic, particularly amid the current wave driven by the hypertransmissible delta coronavirus variant. In early August, the Sunshine State accounted for 20 percent of all COVID-19 cases occurring in the US. Throughout the wave—which is finally receding in Florida—DeSantis has opposed vaccine mandates and fiercely fought mask mandates in schools.
Ladapo appears to share his thinking. In a series of opinion pieces in The Wall Street Journal, Ladapo has argued against mask mandates and vaccine mandates and played up fears about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, which have been found to be remarkably safe as well as effective. Meanwhile, Ladapo has pointed to unproven and ineffective treatments, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, as treatments for COVID-19.
UPDATE: Here's what he did in his first day on the job: