DeSantis’ doctor to be put on the spot over his medical competence at confirmation hearing: report

Dr. Joseph Ladapo is expected to face a tough confirmation hearing on Tuesday as the appointee of Gov. Ron DeSantis to serve as Florida's surgeon general.

Ladapo is set to testify before the state legislature on Wednesday after four months of harsh criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Beast special correspondent Michael Daly reported Wednesday DeSantis was falsely claiming that monoclonal antibody treatments are medically useful against the omicron variant.

Daly noted Ladapo is a physician and "therefore had the moral and professional responsibility to set people straight regarding the clinics that were opened by the health department he heads. He instead affirmed the governor’s fiction."

He noted the manufacturer of the REGEN-COV antibody cocktail released a statement affirming the FDA was correct that the treatment doesn't work on omicron.

"Ladapo just ignored this inconvenient reality. He had at other times described reliance on vaccines and face coverings and testing as 'the trifecta of stupidity.' And he gave no indication he would not simply further his reckless and irresponsible nonsense on Wednesday, when he is scheduled to appear at a confirmation hearing by the Health Policy Committee of the state Senate," he wrote.

Democratic state Sen. Janet Cruz, who sits on the committee, said she has "been disappointed by many of his comments.”

Cruz, whose husband is a retired nephrologist, focused on the importance of vaccines.

“That’s the kinda stuff that makes me nuts, when I have a Harvard-trained physician that will not recognize the power of the vaccine,” Cruz said. “I watched [my husband] devote 50 years of his life to saving sick patients. I’ve watched this man get up at four o’clock in the morning and try to go save someone… And then I see a physician who won’t stand up for a vaccine. I just can’t believe that someone could go to one of the finest medical institutions in the country and perhaps the world and deny the efficacy of a vaccine and the fact that it saves lives.”

Cruz expects Republicans on the committee will still confirm Ladapo.

Daly wrote "it seems likely the Senate will impugn its own dignity by approving Ladapo as Florida’s top doctor. The ultimate question is whether he should be a doctor at all."

Read the full column.