Joe Henderson: Florida’s new top doc is already playing a dangerous game

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo's mask order seems like another case of spiking the ball at the 10-yard line.

The saying goes that those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. With that in mind, we turn our attention to Florida’s new Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo.

He has been on the job for about a week, and let’s just say he announced his presence with authority — or, if you prefer, misuse of authority.

One day after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him to the post as Florida’s top doc, Ladapo signed an emergency order allowing parents or legal guardians sole authority to send their kids to school even if they were exposed to COVID-19. Not only that, the parents can (paraphrasing here) tell the school to shove it when it comes to mandatory masks.

Well, sure.

The number of virus cases in Florida is steadily declining. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, new cases last week were at a 67-day low. Deaths are down 53% in the last two weeks, according to a New York Times database.

So, it’s party time, right?

Yeah, it’s almost enough to take us back several months into this year when infections were falling. People were out and about, celebrating freedom from masks and deadly bugs.

However, the delta variant crashed the party. All those good vibes turned into more ambulance rides to the emergency room.

In early July, deaths in Florida from COVID-19 fell to an average of 21 per week, a testament to widespread vaccinations. However, cases began to skyrocket a month later as more people decided they no longer needed to be cautious.

And then BAM!

More than 6,600 Floridians died in August from the virus. That’s about 1,500 more deaths than in the same month a year ago.

Schools were opening all over the state, and most large districts defied DeSantis’ order outlawing mask mandates. It’s worth exploring whether that helped reduce infection rates since vaccines were not widely available for students 12 and over until recently.

But you know what that means, of course.

The Governor’s position seems to be that people shouldn’t have to do anything they don’t want to, even if that means spreading a deadly virus.

Macho trumps prudence in this administration.

“We’re done with fear,” Ladapo said at his introductory news conference. “That’s been something that unfortunately has been a centerpiece of health policy in the United States ever since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s over here. Expiration date. It’s done.”

Well, let’s just say the good doctor likes to think outside the box. I mean, waaaaaay outside the box. He stomps that box flat.

Last year, he appeared at a news conference in Washington with Stella Immanuel. She’s the Texas doctor/minister with some strange ideas. She theorized that some maladies might be caused by having sexual relations with demons or aliens.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

Ladapo wore a lab coat that day with a logo that read “America’s Frontline Doctors.” He spoke against “unintended consequences” of COVID-19 safety measures.

He also promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine, the not-cure touted by what’s his name in Mar-a-Lago.

Connecting the dots, are you?

Here we go. Containment measures seem to be working against this virus, and there is hope that it won’t be too long until people don’t need masks.

Right now, though, Ladapo’s order seems like another case of spiking the ball at the 10-yard line. The virus didn’t take kindly to that last time, and the next mutation — whatever it turns out to be — won’t either.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Tom

    September 27, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Joe, since you know everything and this incompetent WH, along with their CDC resists and their FDA, continues not to not have a commissioner and have done nothing to stop, slow or create a new vaccine or therapeutic. Have you ever thought of that?

    How bout Biden/ Harris, thru said people shouldn’t take the vaccine cause Trump was involved.

    How about the minority community refusal to take the virus. Why aren’t minority leaders promoting it. About 60% minorities haven’t done so. Why doesn’t CNN, MSNBC & FP ridicule them?

    How about unemployment going up from 8.2% to 8.9% for African Americans? How is that possible with Biden/Harris. How insensitive.

    • Professor Emeritus

      September 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      How about providing cites instead of endless trumpie lies ?

      Pelosi Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine
      December 17, 2020
      Press Release

      Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement regarding the COVID-19 vaccine:

      “This week has been one of great hope, as the FDA has announced an Emergency Use Authorization for a coronavirus vaccine, with a second vaccine expected to be authorized as soon as tomorrow. All Americans should have full confidence in the vaccines, knowing that they were reviewed and recommended by the FDA’s advisory panel’s independent experts.
      With confidence in the vaccine and at the direction of the Attending Physician, I plan to receive the vaccine in the next few days.“Even with a vaccine, I will continue to follow CDC guidelines by continuing to wear a mask and take other science-based steps to stop the spread of the virus.

      “We must all continue to embrace testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing and social distancing as the vaccine is being distributed. It is imperative that we ensure that the vaccine will be free and delivered in a fair, equitable manner to as many Americans as soon as possible and that we accelerate its manufacture, including by invoking the Defense Production Act.”

      • Tom

        September 27, 2021 at 11:22 pm

        You are deranged.
        It’s been made equitably and fair.
        It’ is available everywhere! Anyone, no color or racial limitation can access the vaccine period, full stop!

        The refusal to take it is a different reason but hey you are a corrupt liberal professor, it can’t be liberal dogma fault!

      • Alex

        September 28, 2021 at 7:13 am



  • Professor Emeritus

    September 27, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    CDC data also show that recent vaccinations are reaching larger shares of Hispanic, and Black populations compared to overall vaccinations. Among vaccines administered in the past 14 days, 23% have gone to Hispanic people and 14% to Black people (Figure 1). These recent patterns suggest a narrowing of racial gaps in vaccinations at the national level, particularly for Hispanic and Black people, who account for a larger share of recent vaccinations compared to their share of the total population (23% vs. 17% and 14% vs. 12%, respectively) kAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

    • Tom

      September 27, 2021 at 11:00 pm

      60% of the African Americans refuse vaccinations you fool. Where the belittling, demeaning and threats.
      You diploma from toilet U is used toilet paper. You don’t care like the other Dems as long as you get the vote. What a joke, and you use a Pelosi press release. This from the women who has armed military personnel in a armored car guarding her. Who stands before a $25,000 refrigerator eating rich sorbet. Who purposefully held up unemployment compensation for 4 months so as to not give Trump the signature until after election. Making people suffer.

      African American unemployment has increased thanks to incompetent Biden/Harris, 8.2% to 8.9%. Under POTUS 45 all minorities and all women were at record lows, once in a generation employment lows.

      You are an embarrassment, you degree is full of manure. You pathetic hater.

      Democrats cause poverty, have accomplished nothing unlike POTUS 45 on covid and jobs. 8.5 million unemployed and 11 million jobs avail. Poverty from Democrats.

      You need to go back to school, what a joke.

      • Lorraine

        September 28, 2021 at 1:43 am

        Go back to school? did you even go to school ?

        Disagreeing with someone can be done in a respectful way / you seem to project to be a very angry and non happy person – if you ask me ( & you haven’t) I think you need to take a few steps back away from all of this and calm down and realize that real anger
        can cause physical problems that can be very serious to your health

        • Tom

          September 28, 2021 at 6:13 am

          LMAO Lorraine.
          You are an idiot.
          Attack the messenger when you refuse to acknowledge the facts. Your cheap shots are meaningless.

          You ridicule America’s Governor, no one In the Repub. party is dismissing him. If POTUS 45 runs, he won’t, if 45 does not, Desantis may run and would win. You obviously are very jealous. DeSantis announced 2000 new jobs on space coast. Recent New environmental initiatives. New economic initiatives coming shortly. He’s going to win in Nov/22. How stupid are you.

          As for the facts outlined, you do what the media and liberal hypocrites do. Ridicule and attack personally.

          Facts: Unemployment for minorities is 8.9%, up from 8.2% last month.
          Facts: Minority vaccine participation 60% not vaccinated. But ridicule Republicans.
          Facts: Southern border surrender, 2 million illegal invasion.
          Facts: Afghanistan surrender, thousands left behind.
          Facts: 8.5 million unemployed, 11.5 million jobs avail.
          Facts: This POTUS 46, has accomplished nothing related to Covid. 45’s team executed the vaccine, therapeutics. Fact:
          Monoclonal was Gov. Ron’s initiative not this inept WH. He fixed it.

          As for the professor, he’s full of cheap shots like you. You liberal Manchurians love to dish it out but can’t take it. You, Alex and others are hypocrites. Spare me Lorraine. Go fish. LMAO

      • Alex

        September 28, 2021 at 4:51 am

        That’s not true! I’m what you call “hispanic” or a ” minority” and I choose and will continue to deny the vaccine. Why are you forcing people to take this vaccine? The same thing happened during the Vietnam War where the soldiers were prescribed opioids to help with their pain. On top of that the government been involved in the Ultra Project where multiple humans were taken for experimental purposes, then you have the Nuremberg trials. You are stripping us of our rights we are a democratic country not communist or socialist. You are allowing people to die! If it werent for Faucis research this wouldve never happened. Sars has been around since 1992 and then transmutation was increased to allow the disease to go from Animals to humans. Not only did the Haitian President find a cure against the virus but I found a complete bio-mineral formula that can save lives. My mom and multiple others have been tested and told they had it and next day after taking the bio formula they return with negative results.

        • Tom

          September 28, 2021 at 6:29 am

          Low life Alex, you crawled off the curb.
          Facts are funny things Alex.
          60% of minorities haven’t taken the shot/vaccine Alex. How is that possible? CNN, MSNBC have failed in belittling them. Not just Florida man Alex. You pathetic socialist hater. How is that possible that they don’t want to. I guess it’s just about the vote. Everyone knows that.

  • Ocean Joe

    September 27, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Dont Ladapo my Florida. How pitiful, our last Surgeon General dropped from sight like the Amelia Earhart, and has never been heard from since. A noncontroversial position turned into one of a huckster for snake oil, hired from across the country to push snake oil, resulting in a run on snake oil that will leave Desantis unable to slither.

  • zhombre

    September 27, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Lapado has been warned: Joe Henderson is NOT happy with him. This should have a profound effect.

  • ScienceBLVR

    September 27, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    It’s not just Joe, of any variety, that’s not happy with this imbecilic choice. To think that this conspiracy nut is any kind of scientific or medical authority on Covid is laughable. What is DeSantis thinking? He really is not being advised very well if he thinks these kinds of decisions will get him re-elected or elected nationally. Too bad people will die because of this lunacy.

    • Jerry

      September 27, 2021 at 11:55 pm

      The only surgeon general you’d be happy with is one that says businesses need to lockdown, that we need to glue masks to every child’s face, and we need to force injections into everyone’s arm.

      Trust me, there are doctors out there that believe those things are not the correct approach. Mandates for a vaccine that isn’t even a year old is a really, really stupid idea. I’d yank my kids out of school before sticking them with this experimental mRNA crap for a virus that isn’t dangerous to them and doesn’t even stop the spread anyway!

      • Lorraine

        September 28, 2021 at 1:24 am

        Trust you Jerry ?
        Hardly !
        For every thought or piece of misinformation that you spew there are just as many truths that you ignore/ you are a headliner – and do you really think that anyone listens to you?

    • Lorraine

      September 28, 2021 at 1:27 am


    • Lorraine

      September 28, 2021 at 1:35 am

      I gave your 3 👍👍👍 to someone else by mistake
      I personally think that each day he digs himself into a deeper hole
      I am not sure if Florida will vote him in again – which will say so much about this state
      But as far as The National election – he is a laughing stock around this country – even my conservative friends in the mid West think he has gone way off track into the danger zone

      • Tom

        September 28, 2021 at 8:20 am

        You are a idiot.
        Thanks to this incompetent WH, Jen Psaki, Jen Psaki, WH incompetent staff and Alzie POTUS. They have made America’s Gov the # 1 leader in the Repub party, excluding past POTUS 45 and the conservative movement. He’s a giant!

        Typical hypocrisy from a leftist telling Repubs who their nominee may possibly be. If 45 does not run, DeSantis may and would win nomination and presidency.

        So jealous and petty you are. DeSantis the best.! America’s Governor.

  • Charles

    September 27, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Yellow Journalism- exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.
    Kinda sums up Jackassery Joe Henderson.

    • Lorraine

      September 28, 2021 at 1:18 am

      Maturity and intelligence will have some possibly reading what you write/ unfortunately you will not be taken seriously until you grow up

  • Tom

    September 27, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Oh yes, his renown degrees and education is apparently immaterial.
    But you know better, as a Manchurian Dem A Dolt! Spare us.

    DeSantis will crush you haters!

    • Lorraine

      September 28, 2021 at 1:08 am

      Hahahah- fool? We will see who the big mouth fool is when De S is not America’s & your Gov in the near future

      ( and I can’t wait – fool)

      • Tom

        September 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

        You are the winner of the idiot award.
        Obviously hater, jealous of America’s Governor. Let me guess you voted for the recovering addict.

        Who crispy critters? Nikki Fraud, cannabis queen. Are you deranged, no chance and no hope with either. You are dreaming. What a fool.

  • Martin Siegel

    September 28, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Hypoxia–death of brain cells by lack of oxygen
    Pleurisy–lung infection from dirty masks
    Mental trauma–look into the dead eyes of a child. Will they smother you in the nursing home when you are old because you fear death?

    Either the shots work, or they don’t. Or…they are causing adverse reactions that hospitalize people and lower the immune system of those vaccinated.

    Which is quite possible based on overseas data. AND informed consent which should have told people they could have a MORE severe reaction if exposed to A coronavirus. Which would include the common cold.

    Heck, even flu shots increase your risk to a coronavirus.

    Why do they do studies at NIH if nobody reads them?

    Stop being racist to the new Surgeon General, Mr. Henderson. You are not as smart as you think.

    • zhombre

      September 28, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      No one in contemporary journalism is. They can write shit without one scintilla of accountability.

    • Tom

      September 28, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      Lots of racism coming from the left.
      Nikki Fraud just happens to oppose the newly appointed Environmental Director, happens to be African American. Lame excuse is that the Gov didn’t ask cannabis queens consent. She apparently opposes the appointed Surgeon General. Crist does to. He’s African American also.
      Just saying. Democrats number one stakeholder as a minority group is at 60% not vaccinated. Just saying.

  • Andrew Nappi

    September 29, 2021 at 10:12 am

    The left has always been racist. Now they can’t contain themselves.

Comments are closed.


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