ICYMI: Sun Sentinel Editorial Board Calls for Florida Senate to Decline to Confirm DeSantis’ New Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo

5 mins read

In a scathing opinion piece, the Editorial Board of the Sun Sentinel called on Florida Senators to “reject unfit, unprofessional surgeon general” Dr. Joseph Ladapo. The surgeon general must be confirmed by the Florida Senate or risk losing his job. 
The Sun Sentinel editorial comes on the heels of Dr. Ladapo’s refusal to wear a mask during a visit to Senator Tina Polsky’s office last week. She had asked him to take the precaution because she had a serious medical condition. Senator Polsky received a breast cancer diagnosis in August.

Read key excerpts from the editorial below:

Sun Sentinel: Senators must reject unfit, unprofessional surgeon general | EditorialBy the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board
Key Points: 

• “Gov. Ron DeSantis hired a dangerously unqualified doctor from California to be Florida’s chief health officer and surgeon general.”
• “In just a few weeks, he has scared parents, started feuds with school boards, politicized the pandemic and sent shock waves through the medical community.”
• “His outlandish views would be bad enough, but he committed an unpardonable act of disrespect by arrogantly refusing to wear a face mask requested by a senator who’s waging a courageous fight against breast cancer.”
• “Ladapo’s behavior demonstrates that he’s unfit for public service. There must be consequences for that. The Florida Senate should send him packing.”
​​• ”The state’s chief public health officer must be confirmed by a majority of the 40-member Senate or he risks losing his job. Senate confirmation of executive branch appointees is a vital function that too often is treated casually. But Ladapo’s latest outrageous stunt — during breast cancer awareness month, by the way — should cost him a job that pays the equally outrageous sum of $512,000 a year.”
• “Ladapo acted rudely, insulted the Senate and posed a risk to a senator’s compromised immune system all at once, and things quickly went downhill. Polsky finally asked Ladapo to leave. On his way out, Ladapo was overheard by her aide saying: ‘Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun.’” • “Ladapo’s calculated refusal to wear a mask in the presence of a senator fighting a deadly disease reflects his hostility to reasonable COVID-19 precautions and his DeSantis-like zeal for combat and confrontation. If the crackpot doctor wants a war over masks, the Senate should give him one.”

FDP Spokesperson Jose Dante Parra Reacts to Florida Receiving a Grade of “C” on Its Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers

Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its report on Florida’s critical infrastructure, giving the state an overall grade of “C.” The report covers 14 sectors, including roads, bridges, schools, ports and aviation.

According to the report “Florida’s population has grown at a rate of about 1% per year, adding about 300,000 people, which is the equivalent of adding a city the size of Orlando every year. Investing in infrastructure must be Florida’s top priority so we can continue to be the place people want to live and work.” The full report is available here.

In reaction to this development, Florida Democratic Party Spokesperson Jose Dante Parra issued the following statement:

“This troubling new report confirms what many Floridians already know: our infrastructure needs a major upgrade. 
“This is why it is so important to support the Biden Administration’s push to pass both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Agenda. We cannot expect to build a strong economy that puts our workers and businesses on a path to success if our critical infrastructure is mediocre.

“I am particularly troubled that our school infrastructure received a grade of D+, and that our levees, which are so important in a state that is threatened by hurricanes as well as the effects of climate change, were awarded a grade of ‘D.’ We simply must do better.

“Sadly, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which would bring much-needed improvements to our state’s infrastructure and create millions of good-paying jobs across the country. Floridians won’t forget that they put their self-serving political agendas ahead of what’s best for the future of our state.” 

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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.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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