Miami Herald Editorial Board Calls Out FL Surgeon General for Misinforming on Vaccines, Refusing to Wear a Mask to Meet Senator Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

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In an editorial published in the Miami Herald, the newspaper’s editorial board harshly criticized the performance of Governor DeSantis’s new, hand-picked Attorney General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo. The editorial criticizes Dr. Ladapo’s misconstruing of information regarding the efficacy of the COVID vaccines and his recent refusal to wear a mask to meet Senator Tina Polsky in her office. The Senator has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Read key excerpts from the editorial below:
Miami Herald: DeSantis’ weird version of Florida has found the perfect pandemic-era surgeon general | EditorialBy the Miami Herald Editorial Board
Key Points:

  • “New state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo represents the pompousness, the wackiness and the disregard for life and community that have become the hallmarks of Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • “During his short tenure, Ladapo has been on a rampage. He issued an order forcing schools to allow students who have been exposed to COVID and aren’t showing symptoms to attend in-person classes — even though asymptomatic people can transmit the coronavirus. Last week, he gave a speech that misconstrued the coronavirus vaccine’s efficacy.”
  • “Most recently, Ladapo refused to show simple good manners when a state senator battling breast cancer asked him to mask up in her Capitol office, the Herald reported Sunday. He even made a snarky comment on his way out, telling his aides, “Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun,” according to what Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, told the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau.”
  • “The Florida Senate still must confirm Ladapo’s appointment. He was in Polsky’s office to make a pitch for staying on the job, but she described him being smug during their face-off. It doesn’t look like he’s convinced her, or any Floridian who wants a return to normalcy that gives us a sense of security — for example, that other people will respect our wishes and wear a mask in our own home or workplace.”
  • “We have seen the Florida Legislative go along with every bad policy that comes from the governor’s office, but Senate leadership came to Polsky’s defense. GOP Senate President Wilton Simpson sent a note to his colleagues saying, in part, that, “It shouldn’t take a cancer diagnosis for people to respect each others’ level of comfort with social interactions during a pandemic.” We commend Simpson for this humane stance. It’s too bad that DeSantis couldn’t get off the masks-don’t-work wagon to join Simpson.”
  • “Let’s hope the Senate does its due diligence by asking Ladapo tough questions during his confirmation hearing, as requested in a letter signed by more than 100 Florida physicians concerned about his record.”
  • “He has proven he’s not worthy of the $512,000 per year he will earn along with a tenured professorship at the University of Florida.”

The Florida Roundup The field for governor grows, a special ‘vaccine’ session, and can Florida help unclog global trade?

In a recent national public radio interview with “The Florida Roundup,” on Fri. Oct. 22, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz discussed the upcoming gubernatorial race to unseat DeSantis and bring real change for Floridians through the election of a Democrat to the Governor’s Mansion. He also spoke about the changes afoot in the Florida Democratic Party to achieve that goal. 
Listen to the interview below: 
The Florida Roundup
Key Quotes from Chairman Manny Diaz: 

  • “The freedom I hold very dear to me is getting my daily life back. We lead the nation with COVID deaths from the Delta variant.”
  • “We have a governor who is now doubling down again on policies to sabotage our health and slow our economic recovery because a sick population equals a sick economy.”
  • “And by the way, very scary, other countries are already reporting new mutants developing in other parts of the world which may very well end up here.”
  • “I think what all of us would like to see is going back to a normal life, back to a life where kids don’t have to wear masks in schools, back to a life where businesses can open, jobs are created what we used to have, normalcy. And to take any action right now that produces an opposite effect is just absolutely absurd.”
  • “What’s not going to happen anymore is a Democratic party that gets its field operation stood up only for each election, that limits its work and hopes in winning blue counties to get us over the top. It starts now.”
  • “The games that are being played with something called inactive voters. An inactive voter is still eligible to vote. But they are no longer recorded in the public numbers you and I both see. While you see the margin continue to dwindle, there are still more Democrats on the voter rolls than there are Republicans because all they have to do is show signs of life and show up to vote next November.”
  • “We’ve got people for example, we know for a fact voted in ‘16, ‘18 and ‘20 and yet they are on the inactive list. I don’t understand that, it seems to me like a pretty active voter.” 

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz Calls for Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo to Resign or for Governor DeSantis to Withdraw His Nomination

Last week, during a visit to Senator Tina Polsky’s office, Dr. Joseph Ladapo refused to don a mask even though she notified him that she had a serious medic

al condition. He was subsequently asked to leave her office. Senator Polsky was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in August.
Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Republican, issued a memo Saturday to all Senate members and staff in which he criticized the Surgeon General’s behavior during the visit. “What occurred in Senator Polsky’s office was unprofessional and will not be tolerated in the Senate,” Simpson wrote. “While there is no mask mandate in the Senate, Senators and staff can request social distancing and masking within their own offices. If visitors to the Senate fail to respect these requests, they will be asked to leave.”
In reaction to these developments, Florida Democratic Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:

 “It is a rare day when I agree with Senate President Wilton Simpson, but he was correct in calling Dr. Ladapo’s conduct ‘unprofessional.’ In my estimation, it was worse than that. His failure to acquiesce to Senator Polsky’s simple request to wear a mask while visiting her office showed a callous disregard for the delicate state of her health. As Surgeon General of our state, he has a responsibility to model the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in his profession. His behavior in this instance represents the very opposite of that.

“Florida deserves a Surgeon General that follows the science, not one who validates vaccine hesitancy and anti-masking sentiment. It also deserves one who is willing to put aside his own controversial beliefs to accommodate the health needs of those who are at risk from serious illness or death due to this terrible pandemic. He has proven unfit on both accounts. For that reason, I am calling for Dr. Ladapo to resign immediately. Barring that, Governor DeSantis should withdraw his nomination. If neither of those things happen, I call for the state Senate to reject his nomination when the Legislature convenes in January.”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

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