As the coronavirus is raging through Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed a new surgeon general who thinks the COVID vaccine is “nothing special.”
According to CBS News, Dr. Joseph Ladapo said at the news conference announcing his appointment, "Vaccines are up to the person. There is nothing special about them compared to any other preventative measure.”
He also added, "The state should be promoting good health, and vaccination isn't the only path to that. It's been treated almost like a religion and it's senseless," he said. "...We support measures for good health — vaccinations, losing weight, exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, everything."
Ladapo has been under fire by critics for downplaying the COVID-19 vaccine and his association with the controversial group America’s Frontline Doctors, which has previously promoted bogus “cures.”
During his news conference, Ladapo said he’s going to handle the pandemic and other concerns with a “public health” approach and will "completely reject fear as a way of making policies."
"We are going to have a positive approach," he said. "Public health is not about a single item. It's not about how many cases of COVID there are in a location — that is a part of public health but it's not the only thing. That's over. It's not going to happen here."
Florida is among the states with the highest number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. Over the past 28 days, there have been nearly 425,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 9,100 deaths. In mid-August, COVID hospitalizations reached a record high of over 16,000.