Florida’s top public health official was asked to leave a state Senator’s office this week after refusing to don a mask in her office.
Sen. Tina Polsky, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in August, asked state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and his two legislative aides to leave her office after Ladapo refused to comply with her request to put on a mask.
“I told him I had a serious medical condition,” said Polsky, who will begin radiation therapy treatment for cancer next week.
Polsky said that Ladapo had requested to meet with her in Tallahassee this week; he was making the rounds visiting several Senators who will be asked in the upcoming Session to confirm him.
Polsky said he offered to go outside when she asked him to put the mask on, but she declined.
“I don’t want to go outside,” Polsky said she told Ladapo after he made the offer. “I want you to sit in my office and talk to you.”
Polsky said there was a brief back-and-forth, and then she finally asked whether there was a reason he couldn’t wear a mask.
“He just smiles and doesn’t answer. He’s very smug,” Polsky recalled. “And I told him several times, `I have this very serious medical condition.’ And he said, ‘That’s OK,’ like it basically has nothing to do with what we are talking about.”
Eventually, Polsky said she asked Ladapo to leave her office, which he agreed to do, she said. But the Senator said before going, Ladapo remarked, “Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun.”
Weesam Khoury, a Department of Health spokesperson, confirmed the meeting but said Ladapo didn’t make the comment.
“Dr. Ladapo is committed to meeting with members of the Legislature regardless of their party affiliation to discuss policy, even when they do not agree on the subject at hand,” Khoury said in an email. “Meetings between highly regarded and intelligent, elected and appointed officials happen all the time, and it is disappointing you don’t hear about them more — but it is probably because the only time they get reported is when a genuine meeting turns into a media headline expected from a gossip column.”
Khoury added, misspelling Polsky’s name, that she and Ladapo “are saddened to hear about Sen. Polsky’s recent diagnosis and wish her well.”
Polsky said she is taking all precautions she can to protect herself from getting infected with COVID-19. A positive test means a delay in her treatment, and she doesn’t want to take any risks.
“I really wanted to interview him. I had a lot of good questions,” Polsky said. “So that was unfortunate that I didn’t do it. But I felt really uncomfortable.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Ladapo as the state’s new Surgeon General and head of the Florida Department of Health in mid-September, touting the associate professor from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine as having “a superb background” and “bringing a superb intellect.”
Like DeSantis, Ladapo is a vocal opponent of mask mandates, government shutdowns, and vaccine mandates. In a Sept. 16 opinion article for The Wall Street Journal, Ladapo decried “a zealous pursuit of public mask-wearing,” which he said, “has had, at best, a modest effect on viral transmissions.”
Martha R Fletcher
October 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Forget COVID, how low of a human being do you have to be to refuse the request of a fellow government employee to respect their illness struggle and wear a mask?
October 23, 2021 at 12:25 pm
My thought exactly.
October 23, 2021 at 11:43 pm
The “good” doctor is demonstrating his passionate belief that his individual liberty is more important than being considerate, compassionate, or Christian, His actions speak volumes about what he does not value.
October 24, 2021 at 2:10 am
What is she asked him to wear his underwear on his head? That would dojust as much to protect her from ‘rona as him wearing a mask. Isn’t she “fully vaccinated”?
October 24, 2021 at 5:45 am
What an IGNORANT, CALLOUS comment! Due to chemotherapy, her immune system may not respond normally to the vaccine, putting her at greater risk of getting COVID than if she were not battling cancer.
Also, have YOU or anyone you know had cancer? ONE in EVERY EIGHT WOMEN WILL get breast cancer! The “Surgeon General” should know this, and also know that chemotherapy makes one EASILY EXHAUSTED–so it’s utterly CALLOUS and MEAN to invite a CANCER PATIENT to go stand outside, just because the freakin’ “surgeon general’ doesn’t want to comply with the CDC’s NATIONAL GUIDANCE, re: masks!
Get someone with a three-digit I.Q. to read this to you. And if you think masks are ineffective, I HOPE you get to TEST THAT THEORY, yourself! You’re definitely in the right state–and it’s called “God’s Waiting Room” for a reason (though “The Devil’s Waiting Room” is where a lowlife like you should be headed).
October 26, 2021 at 9:43 pm
What you just said is no different than what he did
October 24, 2021 at 7:21 am
October 24, 2021 at 9:01 am
Moronic response from a moron.
Patricia K Nicolais
October 24, 2021 at 10:32 am
Wow – You are an awful person
October 24, 2021 at 10:39 am
What an idiotic comment. She didn’t ask the Trumpmonkey to wear underwear on his head, just to wear a damned mask. But, yeah, that’s too much of a hardship, right? After all, why should the state’s chief public health official give a damn about anyone’s health. Makes me very happy I live somewhere people actually believe in real science.
October 24, 2021 at 1:55 pm
Your new to earth obviously. Please go home.
David F Baerwald
October 24, 2021 at 4:36 pm
She is immunocompromised from cancer treatments, dolt.
October 25, 2021 at 10:32 am
You are completely correct. This man was totally insensitive.
October 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm
You’re an idiot. And thoughtless on top of that.
October 25, 2021 at 9:11 am
While I feel for the woman with breast cancer, and though her request does seem mild & highly doable, why is EVERYONE FORGETTING that masks to prevent transmission? If one doesn’t want to catch a VIRUS, they are the ones that must wear an N95.
October 25, 2021 at 9:12 am
*masks DON’T prevent transmission
October 26, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Jane, I remember you, from when you sat 2 seats from me in medical school, You were an outstanding student then and I can see you haven’t changed. I’m glad you set us straight on masks. The stats that show the rate of transmission in schools where masks are required must be all phone stats. Maybe Mr. Trump knows who is coming up with phony statistics.
October 25, 2021 at 5:41 pm
While N95 or KN95 masks are the most effective, almost any mask will reduce the chances of contagion. Just because a measure isn’t 100% effective doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken. If we took universal measures that cut transmission by a significant amount (likely 80% or so) the pandemic would soon be over. Universal masking, social distancing and vaccination would easily do this, despite the fact that none of these measures is 100% effective.
October 25, 2021 at 1:27 pm
but she didn’t ask him to wear his underwear on his head. She asked him to comply with CDC Guidelines.
October 24, 2021 at 1:19 pm
Do you even know the doctor’s credentials? There is science behind his actions, not politicized Fauci lies.
October 24, 2021 at 2:08 pm
Yeah! Sure Liza! We’re all going to believe YOU AND DESANTIS before we believe science and Dr. Fauci!
PHILIP M GELBER MD
October 26, 2021 at 8:55 pm
And his touting Hydroxychloroquine was also science? The man is rude, arrogant stupid and unfeeling. Just politeness alone would demand you mask up if a cancer patient vasked…even if you weren’t convinced of it’s utility.
October 24, 2021 at 1:34 pm
I agree with you. If he was a practicing physician, wouldn’t he wear a mask in a hospital and/or at his practice treating or performing surgery on a patient? I thought all doctors takes the oath to do no harm?
October 24, 2021 at 3:22 pm
Someone should complain to the Florida State Board of Medicine so they could remove his license to practice medicine
October 25, 2021 at 2:54 pm
Martha R Fletcher,
The concerns over viruses was respected via an offer to step outside, where the risk is eliminated.
Decling that offer demonstrated the lawmakers inability or unwillingness to respect the basic scientific tenets regarding these issues.
That is to say, her complaint was a BS stunt.
October 26, 2021 at 11:12 am
You ever hear of a private meeting? They don’t work too well in public.
October 26, 2021 at 2:45 pm
No Ladapo did not show Senator Polsky respect at all. She has a serious health issue that he not only ignored but essentially mocked when he “suggested” they step outside. His message was clear: we talk on my terms, not yours.
Why should Senator Polsky have to accommodate Ladapo anyhow? After all, he is asking for her confirmation vote.
It is common courtesy, at the very least, to don a mask at a person’s request, especially when that person’s health condition is easily jeopardized as a matter of life & death.
Furthermore, this is more than refusing to wear a mask. Ladapo’s obvious lack of judgment fails to inspire the public’s trust & confidence – as Florida’s Surgeon General.
In sum: Ladapo puts political ideology over health concerns. That is unacceptable.
Karl, perhaps you are unaware of the fact that anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening disease means their immune system is compromised – making the person an easy target for Covid-19 to attack.
Perhaps you will think about a person’s situation & not be so quick to judge next time.
October 26, 2021 at 2:51 pm
As a cancer patient, I must say, very well said, Serena. I agree with you completely.
October 26, 2021 at 5:24 am
October 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm
Just like Trump, Ron DeSantis hires “only the very best people!”
October 23, 2021 at 12:26 pm
As a University of Florida grad, I’m embarrassed UF would even consider putting this quack on their payroll.
October 24, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Quack??? Do you even know his credentials? God help us all, these vaccine mandates are pure politics and evil.
Rebecca E Kitchings
October 24, 2021 at 6:23 pm
You, Liza were undoubtably chattering away during high school science. Did you make it through with even a C? Just because you think things and say them out loud does not make you an expert. Vaccine mandates are now required because there are too many basic human beings that believe they know more about how viruses are spread and controlled than those who have spent their lives studying these things which is not you. Maybe you believe we are being chipped with the vaccine. Maybe you believe it contains an AI worm that will hatch. Sit down with someone who understands way more than you and give a listen about how your polio, measels, mumps and rubella vaccine work. Are those all evil, too? You’re the Quack.
October 25, 2021 at 2:56 pm
Vaccine mandates are now required because there are too many basic human beings that believe they know more about how viruses are spread and controlled than those who have spent their lives studying these things which is not you.
Ms. Kitchings, you sound like you’ve been drinking paint again.
My MMR lasts for life. This covid shots goes limp within a few months. Even when I taken with viagra.
October 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm
I am sure you are just as anxious to get your life back as the rest of us.
Granted masks are uncomfortable. Masks are a pain. But masks effectively slow the spread of a highly transmissible deadly virus to where it can be controlled.
Furthermore, masks are not just for your protection, but for protecting the people around you – e.g., your family, your kids, your parents, friends, colleagues at work, etc., in case you came into contact & got infected, but do not know it yet.
Ande, as you know nothing is 100% effective; you also know that Covid is transmissible via air. So to prevent those particles from entering your nose or mouth wearing a mask will effectively do that.
Liza, no matter how many times you say masks are political it still will not be true – not now, not ever.
October 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm
Unbelievable! Idiot would be out on HIS rump had FL not been “rumped” (blinded to Sadism, Ignorance, Nastiness): rump, diSatan, pedia-sex Gates, medicare-scam Scott, etc.
Floridians must actively RESIST hurtling into more rump!
October 23, 2021 at 1:34 pm
Based on his behavior and disrespect of proper public health policy, I think she has made up her mind how to vote.
I hope he is defeated.
I also wish Polsky a full and speedy conquest over her breast cancer.
October 23, 2021 at 1:37 pm
So much for ‘Do no harm’, Dr. Quack.
October 23, 2021 at 2:46 pm
Would Ladapo react the same way to Casey DeSantis who also has breast cancer?
October 24, 2021 at 9:02 am
Exactly what I was thinking.
October 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm
I’m disgusted by this man who was handpicked by DeSantis to be our state’s top medical doctor. Lapado is an ambitious opportunist, and he is an embarrassment for Florida. Senator Polsky used the right word to describe Lapado: smug. Smug in the face of risking another human being’s health. Some doctor, huh?
October 23, 2021 at 5:36 pm
What kind of doctor is he? Witch doctor? Got his degree from a diploma mill? Even the least educated healthcare workers know you minimize the risk of infection transmission to cancer patients because of their reduced immune system. Florida is being dragged back to the Dark Ages by the GOP.
Patricia K Nicolais
October 24, 2021 at 10:33 am
He’s a mean Dr..Bombay
October 23, 2021 at 6:12 pm
But the Senator said before going, Ladapo remarked, “Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun.”
This could have been more clear about who said what.
The Senator noted that as he left, Lapado said…”
October 23, 2021 at 7:08 pm
A travesty that the Surgeon General of our state lacks 2 of the more elemental qualities we look for in medical school applicants aspiring to be physicians: compassion and humanity.
October 23, 2021 at 7:20 pm
HE requested a meeting with her yet he was unwilling to do what she requested in order to do so.
October 23, 2021 at 7:22 pm
My hat is off to you Sen. Polsky! I am 75 and have Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. I am not permitted to leave my house without my mask. Amazing how many people think my health and anything I wear is their business!
October 23, 2021 at 7:52 pm
Another day in DeSantisville.
October 24, 2021 at 11:33 am
And what a great day it is!😀
October 23, 2021 at 7:58 pm
Florida Surgeon General Dr Quack admitted he likes to play games with cancer patients lives. “For Fun”
He should be stripped of his medical lic. and removed from office but DeSantis will probably give him a medal.
October 23, 2021 at 9:39 pm
He had to be vetted before he was picked to be Surgeon General. I’d love to know what the vetting process entailed because it was a total failure.
October 23, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Why do you think he was screened? Who do you think vetted him?
October 24, 2021 at 3:12 pm
Spoken from two incompetent fools, Morton & peter h the weasel.
Go flush you tom a tons, soros clones.
As if combined you know anything let alone separately. .
October 26, 2021 at 4:25 pm
It is unnecessary, in fact, counterproductive to post a remark like yours.
First of all: What do you hope to accomplish by calling people “idiots” and making condescending degrading comments?
Second: if you are going to argue something, then do so.
Third: Stop calling people names. If you disagree say so & substantiate it by leaving a thoughtful response as to why you disagree.
Fourth: Be nice to people.
October 26, 2021 at 5:17 pm
Serena…..you’re asking the impossible!
October 26, 2021 at 5:56 pm
maybe so, maybe not.
I do not know.
But the hateful ugly nasty remarks only make things worse. If we do not show &/or respond with common courtesy, no one else will.
Therein, nothing can be or will be furthered.
Take care, my friend.
Perhaps we shall meet again,
October 26, 2021 at 9:49 pm
Thank you well put
October 23, 2021 at 10:52 pm
Having a high I.Q., graduating from a prestigious university or being successful in a competitive field does not ensure that an individual’s opinions and/or judgements are correct or more valid than others. It simply means that the rationalization for their bullsh*t will be more detailed, more complex and stated with more authority and arrogance than might be expected from others not as accomplished. Isaac Newton believed in alchemy. He also attributed the stability of the solar system, which was contrary to his calculations, as being due to Devine intervention. He was wrong in both cases.
October 23, 2021 at 11:03 pm
So, in other words, it’s OK for a this Senator to believe in pseudoscience that masks work but someone who holds an MD and PhD is somehow in the wrong. Sorry, what are Ms Polsky’s credentials again? Gotta love the hypocrisy of the left.
October 23, 2021 at 11:28 pm
Please, by all means, tell the next surgical team that works on any member of your family that masks are pseudoscience and that they need not wear them.
Peek a Boo
October 23, 2021 at 11:38 pm
I wonder why all Surgeons wear a mask during surgery and while performing minor invasive medical procedures…Seems the whole world believes in masks except for this witch doctor…I am embarrassed that Florida is such a backward state.
Let's Go Brandon
October 24, 2021 at 10:30 am
Pretty racist to be calling him a witch doctor, not gonna lie.
October 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm
You need to look up the word hypocrisy. It does not mean what you think it does – or at least not in the context you used it.
Peek a Boo
October 23, 2021 at 11:34 pm
Wow, not only does he not care for people with illnesses, he probably still bleeds them, thinking that’s state-of-the-art medicine. Where did they dig this gem up from????
October 24, 2021 at 12:41 am
Ladapo is a disgrace to his profession, to this state, and to Harvard. The latter seriously needs to examine its protocols for graduating blatantly unqualified medical professionals. That our new, hand-picked by DeSantis, surgeon general doesn’t care to understand that someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer is immunosuppressed, is not only frightening, it is also an indictment on a political party that values power and greed over human lives.
October 24, 2021 at 5:17 am
Have a spray bottle of disinfectant handy – when this happens, spray them in the face .
October 24, 2021 at 10:00 am
This is exactly why DeSantis appointed Ladapo Surgeon General. The Governor needed a pliant physician who would undermine public health measures necessary to fight COVID-19 (vaccines, masking, social distancing) because that is what the Governor’s base likes to hear. Ladapo is just doing the job DeSantis hired him to do. To DeSantis, he’s worth every penny of the half-million dollar salary the taxpayers are paying him.
Let's Go Brandon
October 24, 2021 at 10:29 am
Yeah because all of those have contributed so much to Florida’s heavy case drop the past month. No one here wears masks or social distances, yet we’re ranked 50th in COVID cases per 1 million population.
Totally makes sense to continue masking… NOT.
October 24, 2021 at 11:41 am
Feel free to catch COVID and die. Please do not go to a hospital for treatment, because they will kill you faster. Trump will love you if you sent him money, and in your death, you will own the libs. Jesus is waiting to scream at you before sending you down that escalator to hell.
Not a Trumpanzee
October 24, 2021 at 11:43 am
That was last week. This week, your state ranks 20th in positivity rate nationally.
October 24, 2021 at 2:07 pm
58,803 covid deaths to date in Florida aren’t enough? The movie Idiocracy was a fable, not intended to be a roadmap.
October 24, 2021 at 10:54 pm
Still lower than California and NY with all their mandates 😂
October 24, 2021 at 3:38 pm
Actually, as of last Friday Florida is ranked seventh among the 50 states in COVID cases per 100,000 people. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109004/coronavirus-covid19-cases-rate-us-americans-by-state/
October 24, 2021 at 10:07 am
Since Lapado refused to articulate the basis for his refusal to don a mask to the Senator’s inquiry, one can only speculate as to the basis for that refusal. I suspect that he was trying to be “politically correct ” to impress DeSatan and his klan. He is an embarrassment to Floridians, regardless. Hopefully he will die a slow, painful death from Covid-19 before he rots in Hell.
October 24, 2021 at 10:10 am
I suppose politics and blind servitude to DeSantis negates his physician oath of “do no harm?”
October 26, 2021 at 4:33 pm
October 24, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Interesting. Seems like each party in this situation is assuming the something about the other party regarding the status of their infection. The entire interaction could have been aided by a few simple questions. Polsky could have asked the SG ‘do you have any reason to believe you or anyone in your party are infected?’. The SG should have expected to respond out of courtesy, and based on a positive or IDK response, and under the assumption masks are helpful in preventing transmission and receipt of the virus, the SG should have offered to wear a mask. But frankly, Polsky could have simply stated ‘we’re going to assume someone in your party is affected, and protect ourselves accordingly’. That would have been the polite thing to do, as opposed to insisting that the SG don a mask. Conversely, the SG could have asked Polsky ‘do you have any reason to believe anyone in your office is infected?’ to which Polsky should have expected to respond, out of courtesy. But if not, the SG also could have said ‘we’re going to assume so, and protect ourselves accordingly’. Under that unconfirmed assumption, the SG should have been willing to either don a mask for their own protection, or at least to acknowledge the risk and their willingness to accept it.
October 24, 2021 at 4:11 pm
Why didn’t she schedule a zoom meeting? She shouldn’t be meeting in person with anyone in order to protect her immune system. But if his behavior is in fact as she describes it, then he was in the wrong. But we have one side. I am anti-mask unless someone asks me to wear one in their presence. Especially someone of a compromised immune system.
October 24, 2021 at 4:33 pm
I have had stage four cancer for the last two years and have fought serious cancer on and off for the last forty, losing major organs in the process. I resent you telling her who she should or not be should be meeting. You are not in her shoes and as far as I know, not her doctor. You need to take a step back, you arrogant know it all. You are stepping over the line. You call yourself anti-mask, I think more probably a selfish, potential virus spreader with little regard for your fellow human beings.
October 24, 2021 at 11:01 pm
Aren’t the Surgeon General and Polsky both vaccinated? If not, why not? If so, why is Polsky fueling vaccine hesitancy and misinformation by suggesting the vaccine doesn’t work?
October 26, 2021 at 5:32 pm
Senator Polosky may or may not be vaccinated. That we do not know. Plus it is not the point anyhow.
What I have learned & have come to understand is that some people with a life-threatening disease, like cancer, are not vaccinated because their immune system is too compromised. Getting vaccinated could have a negative impact on their bodies – something they understandably do not want to & should not have to deal with.
Also, just because someone has been vaccinated does not mean they can throw away their masks. Until Covid is contained & controlled will we be free to go maskless.
Note too, maskless people who do not know they are infected with Covid because they are asymptomatic, still spread the disease.
Remember too, Covid particles linger in the air for hours on end.
So it is best for everyone, whether vaccinated or not, to continue wearing a mask. It is the only thing keeping those particles from entering our bodies via our mouth &/or nostrils.
October 25, 2021 at 12:27 am
Vaccination has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS! See Colin Powell.
October 25, 2021 at 12:25 pm
“a zealous pursuit of public mask-wearing has had, at best, a modest effect on viral transmissions.”
That’s because of the zealous refusal to wear masks.
And I’ll take even a modest reduction of viral transmissions, thank you.
October 26, 2021 at 12:46 am
Funny how all the studies before COVID and Fauci’s early remarks stated marks were ineffective. The only reason they’re recommended is to make hysterical people think they have some control. I applaud Dr Ladapo for his intelligence and character
October 26, 2021 at 12:57 am
Funny how Dr Fauci in the early stages of Covid CLEARLY STATED that face masks were scarce and should be sent to health care workers. It’s funny that hospital workers and dentist have been wearing masks for the past six decades! Ladapo is an idiot DeSantis and Trump boot licker ….. isn’t that funny!
October 26, 2021 at 3:28 pm
There are way too many Alpha Hotels commenting here and trying to educate the ignorant here would be impossible. Far too many let politics get in the way of common sense. You cannot effectively make your point by degrading others instead of presenting facts.
October 26, 2021 at 5:48 pm
If he can’t communicate with half his face covered, I guess he never talks on the phone, writes a letter, or posts anything on the web!
It’s just as well. He’s not worth reading.
October 28, 2021 at 6:33 am
I don’t understand. If she’s that immune compromised, then she shouldn’t even be working. That’s like being the only sick person in entire office and expecting everyone to dance around you. That’s rather inconsiderate.
October 31, 2021 at 5:16 pm
You’re doing a great job Man, Keep it up.
November 2, 2021 at 6:15 am
What kind of lowlife treats a women or another human like this. Real tough guy standing up to a women with cancer. I’ve never heard of a surgeon general not caring about someone health. Disgraceful
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