Surgeon general refuses to disclose COVID-19 vaccination status

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, appointed in September by Gov. Ron DeSantis, refused to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination status during a confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, confronted Ladapo, who said his COVID-19 vaccination status is part of his personal medical information, and he didn’t want to discuss it.

Polsky pressured him: “Is there a reason why you just can’t come out and say that you believe vaccines are a very important step for prevention?”

Ladapo said Floridians are able to make decisions about COVID-19 prevention and treatment for themselves with information.

“I think that in some ways they probably make decisions that they’re more comfortable with if elements like coercion or misrepresentation of data or hiding of data are not part of the process,” Ladapo said.

The Florida Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections pushed his confirmation forward for the Senate to vote on his official confirmation.

Last year, Polsky asked Ladapo to leave her office after he refused to wear a face mask while she was undergoing breast cancer treatment. Ladapo released a statement saying he was “saddened” and wishing her “blessings and strength.”

Related reports archives: Jan. 27

Florida Sen. Lauren Book walked out during a hearing with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. archives: Jan. 26

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handpicked surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo was questioned by lawmakers for the first time and in a Senate confirmation hearing declined to directly answer if COVID-19 vaccines are effective.

Torres contributed to this report from Miami.

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