TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( Associated Press) – Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo Senate confirmation moved closer on Wednesday after a tense hearing, where Democrats accused the state’s top doctor of questioning his coronavirus policies and pulled out before casting a vote.
Ladapo, who was appointed by the Republican government in September. Ron DeSantis, There has been a national scrutiny over his alignment with the governor in opposing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and other virus policies accepted by the White House and federal health officials.
In a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Health Policy, Democrats tried to pin Ladapo down with “yes or no” questions about whether they believe vaccines and masks work against the coronavirus and other topics. do, but were often met with long answers from Ladapo.
“What I’ve heard is arrogance and polite avoidance,” said Sen. Janet Cruz, a Democrat. “So if you don’t mind this fond rhetoric that you’re applying, can we get straight answers so that more people can hear more information.”
In one exchange, Democratic Sen. Lauren Buch repeatedly pressed Ladapo on whether she found the coronavirus vaccine to be effective. Ladapo replied: “The question of yes or no is not so easy to find in science.”
He continued, “The most commonly used vaccines in the United States, which will be the Pfizer product and the product that was developed by Moderna, have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization and death, and over time.” With, relatively less protection from infection,” he said.
In another exchange, Buch asked the surgeon general if he regretted his decision to refuse face masks. When in October met a Democratic state lawmaker who told her she had a serious medical problem and later revealed her diagnosis of breast cancer. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cancer patients are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and may not build up the same immunity to vaccines.
Ladapo said, “In line with my approach to clinical care and my approach to health policy issues, I think it’s very important to respect people’s personal preferences and I think it’s an interpersonal issue.” Is.” “That’s why it’s important to respect people’s preferences and I think that while people’s preferences may differ, the goal should be to find a way where those individuals achieve whatever results they aim to achieve that way.” that can make everyone mutually comfortable.”
After several rounds back and forth, Buch told the committee “we don’t think we’re getting an answer” and that the Democrats would leave the room, refusing to vote on Ladapo’s confirmation.
After the walkout, Republicans, who control the committee, quickly voted to pursue the Surgeon General’s confirmation. Ladapo It must obtain additional approval from a separate committee and the full Senate before it can be officially confirmed.