Ron DeSantis’ surgeon general got his medical license approved in just two days
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It's been just a few days since Florida Surgeon General was attacked by former colleagues at UCLA for inflating his resume and lying about his work during the COVID-19 crisis in Los Angeles hospitals.

The Florida Ledger reported Wednesday that Dr. Joseph Ladapo's medical license was approved in just two days, a process that normally takes 2-6 months, the board's website says. The fact was also confirmed by medical and legal professionals who know the process. The report also noted that all of the members of the 15 person Board of Medicine were approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). The governor has been criticized for more than a year for his handling of the pandemic, concealing data about how many people in the state got the virus or died from it and other concerns.

"As a physician, this revelation raises further grave concerns about Dr. Ladapo," said Dr. Mona Mangat, a St. Petersburg allergist and immunologist in an email to paper. "Fast-tracking of his medical license and placement in the University of Florida as a professor additionally undermines our trust in this man."

Ladapo, who is currently anti-mask, anti-vaccine for children, and a supporter of the drug Hydroxychloroquine and the animal dewormer Ivermectin, previously taught at UCLA's medical school where he claimed he was with the COVID-19 task force. While UCLA won't answer questions about Dr. Ladapo, colleagues of his disputed the claim.

"I was part of the team that was taking care of COVID-19 patients in the beginning of the pandemic, and Dr. Ladapo was not part of that team," said one UCLA doctor who worked on the UCLA COVID-19 Task Force. "There were two separate groups, General Medicine and ICU, plus a volunteer program to take care of COVID-19 patients. Dr. Ladapo was not part of either. It was a small group of people, a task force. Everyone knew everyone. He wasn't there.'"

Faculty at the University of Florida's College of Medicine have complained that Ladapo "sidestepped" the normal process for getting tenure at the state-funded institution. In that case, his tenure process was approved in just two weeks with the help of a large Republican donor to Ron DeSantis, Mori Hosseini, who serves on the Board of Trustees.

"Ladapo submitted his medical school license Sept. 8, records show, just days after Hosseini forwarded his resume to Dr. David Nelson, senior vice president of health affairs for the University of Florida and president of UF Health," said The Ledger.

Dr. Mangat, who serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Health Care signed and submitted a letter along with 350 other Florida physicians who asked for vetting of Ladapo at the next legislative session.

"We urge you to exercise your authority to ask questions of this nominee, given your role in confirming them, to clarify Dr. Ladapo's commitment to the health and safety of all Floridians during the pandemic," the letter said.

It also calls into question Ladapo's membership to the controversial America's Frontline Doctors, a right-wing conspiracy group of medical workers who have pushed everything from alien DNA being in all U.S. medicines to the Magic 8-Ball toy being an example of witchcraft.

"I imagine Dr. Ladapo's association with the fringe group 'America's Frontline Doctors' … and his past incorrect comments about COVID-19 vaccines and masks should disqualify him from a medical license, let alone becoming surgeon general," Mangat said. "Unfortunately though, it seems these dangerous, quacky views are the precise ones Gov. DeSantis was looking for in a surgeon general, to support his politics-over-public-health approach to the pandemic."

Read the full report from The Florida Ledger.

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