After running short on time, Senate panel agrees to reconvene for Joseph Ladapo confirmation

A Senate panel will reconvene Tuesday to consider Joseph Ladapo's confirmation as state Surgeon General.

A vote on whether to recommend the confirmation of State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo will happen early Tuesday night after a state committee ran out of time due to a long line of questions from Democratic legislators.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee did not consider the appointment of Ladapo until the final half-hour of a two-hour meeting, as it took up other controversial bills.

Ladapo, a Harvard trained doctor tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to lead the Department of Health, has become a lightning rod of controversy due to his skeptical positions on both masks and vaccines. He angered Democrats at his first confirmation hearing as he sidestepped questions, including one on whether he regretted an incident with Sen. Tina Polsky where he refused to wear a mask in her office. Polsky asked him to wear a mask since she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Democrats peppered Ladapo again with questions during the first part of Tuesday’s hearing. This time around, they focused on topics ranging from Medicaid expansion to HIV and why the department was not aggressively promoting COVID-19 booster shots. Democrats also seemed unfazed when Sen. Dennis Baxley, the chair of the committee, told legislators that they would meet into the early evening to consider his appointment if they did not finish during the afternoon meeting.

Democrats, however, did not ask him questions about criticism aimed at him from a former supervisor of his at University of California at Los Angeles. According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement background check the UCLA supervisor said Ladapo’s “published opinions were contrary to the best scientific evidence available about the COVID-19 epidemic and caused a large number of his research and clinical colleagues and his subordinates who felt that his opinions violated the Hippocratic Oath that physicians do no harm.”

When the former supervisor was asked whether he would recommend Ladapo for the state Surgeon General position, he told investigators he would not. “In my opinion the people of Florida would be better served by a Surgeon General who grounds his policy decisions and recommendations in the best scientific evidence rather than opinions.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • tom palmer

    February 8, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    I watched the hearing. Just more bullshit answers from this hustler for DeSantis.

    • TJC

      February 8, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      I’ll bet Trump wishes he had found Ladapo first. I didn’t watch the hearing, but if Ladapo’s bullshit was chock-full of half-truths flavored with plenty o’ suck-up, he’d have been perfect for the Trump administration.

  • Pat b

    February 8, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    LADAPO is a failure

Comments are closed.


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