The newly appointed surgeon general for Florida has a history of questioning COVID-19 mitigation measures and vaccines, and even touted the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for the virus, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
"Florida will completely reject fear," Dr. Joseph Ladapo once told reporters. "It doesn't lead to good decisions."
He also once signed a declaration that said natural infection was the best path to COVID herd immunity.
"The most compassionate approach … is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk," stated the declaration, which was slammed by the scientific community, which called it "a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence... It is not feasible to restrict uncontrolled outbreaks to particular sections of society."
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed from June, Ladapo wrote, "Some scientists have raised concerns that the safety risks of Covid-19 vaccines have been underestimated" and went on to argue that COVID vaccines could be linked to an increase in deaths in some countries. He also wrote another op-ed arguing against vaccine mandates.
"It isn't practical to punish adults who have no symptoms. … Doctors and public health officials used to understand that stopping spread is usually not practical," he wrote.