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DeSantis’s Surgeon General refuses to say if he is vaccinated

February 11, 2022 2:07pm

Updated: February 15, 2022 9:55am

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo declined to state the vaccine status of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a tense hearing before the state Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections on Tuesday.

“It certainly seems like there has been a lot of questions about vaccines and there is some equivocation on your part. Is there a reason why you just can’t come out and say that you believe vaccines are a very important step for prevention,” asked Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky, pushing Ladapo to whether he had been vaccinated.

Ladapo refused, saying vaccine status was private medical information.

“I personally believe that people can make their decisions for themselves with information and I think that in some ways they probably make decisions that they’re more comfortable with if elements like coercion or misrepresentation of data or hiding of data are not part of the process,” Lapado said.

Florida Democrats have been frustrated with Ladapo since his nomination in September by DeSantis, accusing him of dodging questions and endangering public health with less restrictive COVID policies. They walked out of his first confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health Policy before votes could be cast.

This is also not the first clash between Ladapo and Polsky. The doctor refused to wear a mask to a meeting in Polsky’s office in October. Shortly afterward, the Senator revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and heralded calls to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to withdraw his nomination.

Republicans on the Ethics Committee voted to approve Ladapo’s nomination after the Democrats’ line of questioning. He must receive approval from the full state Senate before he is officially confirmed.