Former colleagues say Ron DeSantis's surgeon general is 'a source of embarrassment': Rachel Maddow
ABC screenshot via YouTube

Recently appointed Florida surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo has come under scrutiny recently over his claims to have served on boards and appointed to programs while a UCLA medical professor.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow revealed on her Monday show that while UCLA Medical School won't give the network and her research team any information, some of the employees, doctors, and former colleagues of Dr. Ladapo happily gave a statement.

Maddow explained that Dr. Ladapo "has staked had his credibility specifically on COVID on his assertions that he is, in fact, a frontline doctor who has spent all of this time treating COVID patients as a physician."

Maddow cited Dr. Ladapo's March 2020 op-ed in USAToday in which he said he had "spent the past week taking care of COVID-19 patients at UCLA's flagship hospital."

However, UCLA doctors and employees say the opposite.

MSNBC, who wouldn't name the sources because they weren't authorized to speak on behalf of the hospital, said "we did, however, confirm their credentials independently, and four of these sources tell us that before that press conference" in July 2020, his op-eds "greatly mischaracterized the type of work he was doing during the pandemic."

"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.'"

Maddow's team also obtained scheduling documents from when Dr. Ladapo was working for UCLA, revealing dozens of doctors who were working in the Internal Medicine Unit alongside him. From June 2019 to Sept. 2021, "at no point was Dr. Ladapo scheduled to treat COVID patients during that time period that we were able to review." Specifically, when Dr. Ladapo said in USAToday in March 2020, he "spent the past week taking care of patients with COVID at UCLA's flagship hospital," he was not listed among the doctors to have worked there.

UCLA sources also said that the appearance at the July 2020 press conference ignited a conversation inside UCLA about his work and "accusations were affecting the reputation of the university and its hospital."

One source at UCLA even told Maddow that "Dr. Ladapo's opinion pieces a source of embarrassment" for the team. One source said, "In academic medicine, we're tasked with putting opinions out there that are fully sustained. His opinion was not."

Another source said, "A lot of people here at UCLA are glad he is gone because we were embarrassed by his opinions and behavior. At the same time, we don't wish this on the people of Florida. They don't deserve to have something like him making their health decisions."

She said that the greatest frustration for all of them was the embarrassment they felt after Dr. Ladapo was hired in Florida and frequently cited UCLA as a source of his work.

Neither Dr. Ladapo nor Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to MSNBC's questions.

See the full expose in the video below:

Ron DeSantis' Surgeon General proved to be a fraud