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Florida’s Top Health Official Asked To Leave Senator’s Office After Refusing To Wear Mask

The state lawmaker is battling stage 1 cancer.

Florida state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and two of his legislative aides were asked to leave a meeting by State Sen. Tina Polsky after Ladapo refused to wear a mask, FloridaPolitics.com reported on Oct. 24. It is the latest controversy surrounding the appointee of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I told him I had a serious medical condition,” said Polsky, who was expected soon to begin radiation therapy treatment for Stage 1 breast cancer.

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.

During the encounter, Polsky only revealed that she had a serious health issue but didn’t specify that it was cancer. He offered to hold the meeting outside when asked to wear a mask.

“I don’t want to go outside. I want you to sit in my office and talk to you,” Polsky recalled her reply, adding that Ladapo wouldn’t explain his reason for not wearing a mask.

RELATED: Mourning Her Daughter’s COVID-19 Related Death, A Florida Mom Warns Sending Kids Back To School Is ‘Reckless' And 'Ignorant’

DeSantis nominated Ladapo in September for the state surgeon general position. Ladapo, a physician and health policy researcher, was making the rounds last week to meet with legislators who will vote on his confirmation.

Democrats have opposed his appointment because of controversial comments and actions he has taken regarding the pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

One of those acts includes signing new protocols that allow parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they are asymptomatic after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Overall, the state’s top health official aligns with DeSantis’ views and policies on COVID-19. Ladapo has said he doesn’t believe in school closures, lockdowns or vaccine mandates. The governor’s administration also opposes mask and vaccine mandates, as well as school boards’ attempts to require students to wear masks in schools.

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