Florida Surgeon General Altered State Covid-19 Study To Reflect His Anti-Vax Views

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a Ron DeSantis appointee, has faced backlash from the medical community.

Florida’s controversial Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo is once again in the national spotlight, but this time not for something he said, but rather something he is alleged to have done.

Politico reported Monday (April 24) that Ladapo altered a state analysis last year to suggest that men between 18 and 39 years old are at high risk of heart illness from two COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA technology.

Ladapo, a Gov. Ron DeSantis appointee, has pushed the DeSantis administration’s policies against mask mandates in Florida schools and vaccine mandates by private businesses during the pandemic. Democrats walked out from his January 2022 confirmation hearing.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo Dodges Questions Whether COVID-19 Vaccines Work

The unedited version of a state analysis found no significant risk to young men from having Covid-19 vaccines.

But Politico obtained documentation, through a public records request, that highlights the changes Ladapo made to the analysis. The surgeon general’s edits support his anti-vaccine views.

Ladapo allegedly used the altered results to justify his October 2022 state guidance on mRNA vaccines, which bolstered disputed claims that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were dangerous to young men.

In response to Ladapo’s guidance, many in the medical community condemned his recommendations, The Washington Post reported in October.

His critics pointed out, among other things, that the state’s analysis was not peer-reviewed and carried no warnings that the findings were preliminary. They said his new guidance was based on politics and not science.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Florida criticized Ladapo’s alleged changes to the study.

“I think it’s a lie,” Matt Hitchings, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, stated about Ladapo’s claim that the COVID-19 vaccine causes cardiac death in young men, according to Politico. “To say this — based on what we’ve seen, and how this analysis was made — it’s a lie.”

Ladapo, a Harvard trained physician, defended his revision of the study as a normal part of assessing surveillance data, saying he has the expertise and training to do that.

“To say that I ‘removed an analysis’ for a particular outcome is an implicit denial of the fact that the public has been the recipient of biased data and interpretations since the beginning of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine campaign. I have never been afraid of disagreement with peers or media,” Ladapo said in a statement to Politico.

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