Democrats in Florida’s state senate said, “Aiight, Imma head out,” on Thursday rather than listen to the state’s surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, avoid giving direct answers about his beliefs on Covid-19 vaccines.
Ladapo is up for formal confirmation to his post after being appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who has opposed vaccine and mask mandates, in September. Florida’s legislature is controlled by DeSantis’ party, so there’s little change Lapado won’t be confirmed.
But Democrats in the confirmation hearing weren’t about to sit still and listen to a medical doctor refuse to acknowledge accepted medical science.
From The Associated Press
In another exchange, Book grilled the surgeon general on whether he regretted his decision to refuse a face mask when meeting with a Democratic state lawmaker in October who told him she had a serious medical issue and later revealed a breast cancer diagnosis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cancer patients are at a higher risk to get severely ill from COVID-19 and may not build the same immunity to vaccines.
“Consistent with my approach to clinical care and my approach to health policy issues, I think it’s very important to respect people’s personal preferences and I think that’s a mutual issue,” Ladapo said. “So it’s important to respect people’s preferences and I think that when people’s preferences may differ, the goal ought to be to find a way where those individuals can achieve whatever outcome they’re aiming to achieve in a way that leaves everyone mutually comfortable.”
After several more rounds of back and forth, Book told the committee “we don’t feel that we’re getting any answers” and said Democrats would leave the room, refusing to vote on Ladapo’s confirmation.
That didn’t matter, because the Republicans in the room voted to move his nomination forward anyway. Lapado, a 2008 Harvard Medical School graduate, is famous for taking positions that mock the worst takes of conservative politicians on the Covid-19 pandemic, but which some of his medical colleagues call “strange”.