The Center Square
By John Haughey
October 26, 2021

 

Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby speaks during Opening Day at the Capitol Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Tallahassee, Fla. AP Photo/Phil Sears

(The Center Square) – It’s safe to assume Dr. Joseph Ladapo will not get Sen. Tina Polsky’s vote when the Senate is called upon to confirm the controversial vaccine skeptic as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ selection to be Florida’s next surgeon general.

Polsky, D-Boca Raton, is diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and will soon start radiation treatment. Cancer patients are at higher COVID-19 risk and do not benefit from vaccines as healthy people do, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Lapado, appointed by DeSantis in September, must secure Senate confirmation to be formally installed as surgeon general. He and two legislative aides arranged to meet Polsky in her Tallahassee office on Oct. 20 to garner her vote.

But it went sideways when Polsky, after informing him of her condition, asked Dr. Lapado to wear a mask she provided while in her office. He refused and she ordered him out.

Polsky and the Democrats are outnumbered 24-16 in the Senate. Her vote isn’t necessary to confirm or deny a gubernatorial appointment, but Senate President Wilton Simpson’s, R-Trilby, endorsement is a must-have.

And that is definitely in question.

In a rare Saturday night memo to all members and Senate staff, Simpson called Dr. Lapado’s behavior “disappointing” and wrote “it shouldn’t take a cancer diagnosis for people to respect each other’s level of comfort with social interactions during a pandemic.

“What occurred in Senator Polsky’s office was unprofessional and will not be tolerated in the Senate,” Simpson continued. “While there is no mask mandate in the Senate, Senators and staff can request social distancing and masking within their own offices. If visitors to the Senate fail to respect these requests, they will be asked to leave.”

The incident was first reported by the Associated Press and Florida Politics. Polsky told Florida Politics she asked Dr. Ladapo to wear a mask because she had a “serious medical condition.”

He offered to go outside but she declined. When she asked if there was a reason he couldn’t wear a mask, Polsky said he only smiled in response and she asked him to leave.

Polsky said she was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from my colleagues and friends about my diagnosis as well as the unfortunate encounter with the surgeon general. I am very grateful to the Senate President Simpson for his strong statement on behalf of myself and the Senate as a whole.”

Dr. Ladapo has been critical of lockdowns and mask mandates. In a September Wall Street Journal column, he wrote research shows lockdowns increased deaths overall “but nonetheless still considered an acceptable solution.

During a news conference with DeSantis on Thursday, Ladapo said “there’s total dishonesty about the safety of the vaccines.”

Dr. Lapado and DeSantis’ office had not responded to Simpson’s letter by early afternoon Monday. The DOH issued a statement saying it and Dr. Lapado “are saddened to hear about Sen. Polsky’s recent diagnosis and wish her well.”

Condemnation of Dr. Lapado’s actions and calls to deny his confirmation came from expected quarters, as did criticism of Simpson for supporting a Democrat.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, both seeking the Democratic nod to challenge DeSantis in next year’s gubernatorial race, seized on the incident in social media posts as did other Democrats.

There’s been little commentary from state Republicans, except for Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howie-in-the-Hills.

“SHAME on Simping Senator @WiltonSimpson for taking sides with leftist nutjob @TinaPolsky against our great pro-freedom Florida Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo!” Sabatini tweeted Sunday. “Pro-Tip for you Wilton: don’t attack our Governor’s appointees to simp for radical Leftists!”

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Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
2 months ago

Omg, another whacko nut wannabe appointee from DeSantis. “Dr.” Lapado will kill people through his misinformed and misguided policies. How can the Republican rank-and-file be so gullible?

peggy bulger
peggy bulger(@peggy-bulger1949gmail-com)
2 months ago

This is the most devastating and sad story of the DeSantis administration to date. Dr. Ladapo has been a force for OPPOSING public health and safety and his appointment to the post of Florida’s top Public Health official would be insane. There is no doubt that our governor is pandering to the radical right and putting his personal political ambitions above the safety of all Floridians. His tantrums to pass legislation to force all of us to accept daily close contact with unmasked and unvaccinated people is not only dangerous, but it exposes how far he will go to rise in what has become a radical right Republican party.

Teri Springer
Teri Springer
2 months ago

Just more proof that DeSatan cares nothing for others. Only a sick mind would think this “Dr.” is an appropriate choice for protecting the health of state residents.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore
2 months ago

While I agree that Dr. Lapado should have respected the request to wear a mask when in Senator Polsky’s office, the fact is, masks do next to nothing to stop the spread of the virus. Any study conducted prior to covid re: the efficacy of masks preventing the spread of viruses backs up that assertion. Viruses are spread through very fine aerosols that easily pass through the pores of a mask. Masks have proven to be effective only in the politicization of everything covid.

As to the safety of the vaccines vs. the FDA approved remdesivir vs. Ivermectin, consider the following statistics taken from CDC’s VAERS and the WHO VigiAccess databases.

VAERS data show the number of adverse effects from the vaccines at 818,044 from December 2020 through October 15, 2021. Of those, there were 18,924 life threatening events, 83,412 hospitalizations, 17,128 deaths (compared to 9183 for all other vaccines combined since 1990), 26,199 permanent disabilities, 91,961 emergency room visits and 575 birth defects after vaccinations.

Per the WHO database VigiAccess, which collects adverse effects data on medications used around the world, there have been 7,491 adverse drug reactions for Remdesivir since the drug was introduced in 2020, more than ivermectin has registered over the last 30 years.  What’s more, serious adverse reactions from remdesivir are reported in high numbers. For example, in less than two years, those who have used remdesivir have reported over 560 deaths, 550 serious cardiac disorders (such as bradycardia and cardiac arrest), and 475 acute kidney injuries.  

For Ivermectin, per VigiAccess there have been 5,674 adverse drug reactions since 1992 with what is now over 4 billion doses administered. Those reactions have been mild and transient. The largest reported categories for ivermectin include skin issues, headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea and nausea. The NIH confirms that ivermectin’s primary adverse side effects “include dizziness, pruritis [itchy skin], nausea, or diarrhea. And a recent review of ivermectin similarly describes the common side effects as “itching, rash, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain[], fever, and headache. In other words, there have been roughly 3 times as many deaths reported after vaccinations since December 2020 that the total number of adverse effects from Ivermectin since 1992.

Yet it is Ivermectin that is being smeared and demonized as dangerous.  Pharmacies are refusing to fill legitimate prescriptions from doctors and hospitals are refusing treatments using IVM in favor of using Remdesivir at a cost in excess of $3000 per 5 day treatment as part of the standard of care. Ivermectin costs maybe a dollar per 3mg pill. A five day treatment using Ivermectin might cost $100, probably less.

There is truly something very sinister and evil going on and I hope there will be a price to pay. Had the re-purposing of IVM and HcQ been embraced early on when doctors were finding that both were effective when used early in treatment, this pandemic would be well under control – just as the state of Uttar Pradesh has found.

For those not aware, Uttar Pradesh is the largest state in India with a population of over 200 million – roughly 2/3 the size of the US. They launched an aggressive campaign to distribute covid kits in an attempt to stem the growth in cases due to the delta variant. Among other things, the kits included Ivermectin. April 26 appears to be the peak at over 35,000 cases. By the end of June, the daily case count had dropped to 172 – that is not a typo. Their vaccination rate at the time was under 5%. As of October 22, the number of active cases stands at 112, with 10 new cases, and the vaccination rate stands at 13.09% for fully vaccinated individuals. UP is not the only state that experienced similar results after wide distribution of Ivermectin – Delhi, Goa, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand also saw dramatic reductions in cases, hospitalizations, and mortality. But, you will not see this reported in the MSM, and in fact, the WHO pressured the Indian Government to remove Ivermectin from it’s treatment protocol. Fortunately, individual states are free to develop and administer their own protocols. Unlike UP, Kerala restricted the use of Ivermectin in April and abandoned it altogether in August in favor of vaccines. It is a tiny state compared to UP, yet as of Oct. 22, have over 8733 new cases and over 83333 active cases with a vaccination rate of 71.05. Clearly, vaccines are not the only answer and a good argument can be made that Ivermectin is a much better answer.

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne
2 months ago
Reply to  Barnes Moore

Mr. Moore, please quit misrepresenting VAERS data as evidence that the vaccines are dangerous. The 17,128 death you quote are not attributed to the vaccines. The data only includes a question whether the deceased has been vaccinated. It would say “YES” even if the cause of death was a car crash, gun shot or suicide. By your standard, every death is attributable to drinking water. I suggest you read the source material rather than relying on conspiratorial sites which skew the research to spread harmful disinformation.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Kayne

I am only citing the data – the source being VAERS not some conspiratorial web site. If you choose to ignore the fact that there have been roughly twice as many reported deaths after covid vacccines since December 2020 than for all other vaccines combined since 1990, I can’t help you. Frankly, if you bother to read any study of Ivermectin prior to covid, you will not find any study that does not say that it is a wonder drug. Somehow, that wonder drug became dangerous because covid. You might want to do a little reading of publications other than the MSM if you are interested in the truth, which frankly I doubt you are.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Kayne

Tell you what Mr. Kayne. Invest a little time, search on son-of-opioids-big-pharmas-deadly, read the article, plus the referenced articles, and watch the video. Plus, go to the FLCCC website and watch the testimonials. This pandemic would be over by now had our health agencies allowed the very normal and up until covid, encouraged practice of re-purposing of approved medications for off-label use. Doctors as early as April 2020 were administering both HCQ and IVM as part of treatment protocols with success, yet their letters to the FDA and NIH went unanswered and were ignored. When Trump touted the use of HcQ, the media and the left went into hysterical overdrive smearing a drug that has been used safely for 70 years. You and others need to wake up.

Robert Warner
Robert Warner
2 months ago
Reply to  Barnes Moore
DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT
2 months ago

“Cancer patients are at higher COVID-19 risk and do not benefit from vaccines as healthy people do, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).”

For clarities sake this should read “Cancer patients are at higher COVID-19 risk and MAY not benefit AS MUCH from vaccines as healthy people do, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).” This statement is true for anyone that has some sort of chronic disease with regards to the impact of COVID.

Dr. Lapado’s lack of respect is inexcusable although most understand that wearing masks is “theater” unless you are wearing a N95 certified mask.

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery
2 months ago

Lapado….or Ladapo? I might be suffering from crossed eyes today but Haughey uses both numerous times in his article.

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