Florida’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo tells people to “stay clear” of COVID-19 booster shot

With the new COVID-19 boosters set to be greenlighted for use this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida’s right-wing surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo advised Floridians to stay clear of the updated mRNA vaccines tailored against the most recent variant to be dominant, Omicron XBB.1.5.

Appointed surgeon general two years ago by Florida’s fascistic Governor Ron DeSantis, Ladapo has continuously spread flagrant disinformation on virtually every aspect of the pandemic.

At a press conference Thursday in Jacksonville alongside DeSantis, Ladapo falsely stated:

There’s a new vaccine that’s coming around the corner, a new mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and there’s essentially no evidence for it. There has been no clinical trial done in human beings showing it benefits people. There’s been no clinical trial showing that it is a safe product for people—and not only that, but then there are a lot of red flags.

Reiterating a common trope of the far right, Ladapo insisted that the vaccines “actually cause cardiac injury in many people.” 

Rather than provide any evidence to substantiate his unproven and misguided claims, Ladapo then urged Floridians not to accept the words of experts in the field but to make their own decisions based on their particular “resonance of truth.”

He summed up by asserting, “When they try to convince you to be comfortable and agree with things that don’t feel comfortable, that don’t feel like things you should agree with, that is a sign, right? That’s a gift.” Such platitudes to subjective irrationalism are utterly dangerous and worse from a public figure who has a medical degree.

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo gestures as speaks to supporters and members of the media before a bill signing by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 18, 2021, in Brandon, Fla. [AP Photo/Chris O’Meara]

Firstly, Ladapo’s comments are those of a con artist and a second-rate shyster with Harvard credentials who is motivated by political interests. He is fully conscious that his recommendation as a physician is harmful and will lead to the certain death of his constituents.

There is no objective basis for Ladapo’s claims, which are in keeping with the rightward trajectory of the entire political apparatus in the US. His position is only a more extreme variation of the anti-public health and anti-scientific approach in the response to the pandemic by the ruling elites that want to ensure nothing encroaches on their ability to amass profits off the backs of workers.

The current summer surge that is continuing into the autumn months has seen rates of COVID-19 infection quadruple since late June, while hospitalizations have tripled without any measure being taken by the Biden administration or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to warn the public or call for implementing any measures to mitigate the rising tide of evolving variants. More recently, COVID-19 deaths have also seen an uptick.

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