Joseph Ladapo used ‘seriously flawed’ science to warn against vaccines, UF faculty peers say

A UF task force determined that the information Ladapo used to warn against vaccines has ‘serious shortcomings’ of which he was made aware.

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, a professor of medicine at the University of Florida, used a faulty analysis and may have violated the school’s research integrity rules by citing a non-peer-reviewed study when he warned young men against receiving common coronavirus vaccines, a report from UF medical school faculty says.

In the report, first shared with and reported by The Washington Post, a task force of the University of Florida College of Medicine’s Faculty Council details many problems with the analysis Ladapo used on Oct. 7, when he recommended that men under 40 forgo taking mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.

Ladapo, through the Department of Health (DOH), warned of an “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death” among young people.

“With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19, the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed” by that risk, the DOH website says.

Doctors, public health officials and other medical professionals at the time quickly criticized Ladapo’s recommendations for being based on weak data that never underwent peer review. Twitter temporarily took down a tweet Ladapo posted referencing the study and summarizing his guidance, flagging it as misinformation.

But Ladapo doubled down. Last month, he joined Gov. Ron DeSantis in successfully seeking approval from the Florida Supreme Court for a statewide probe into whether drug manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, committed wrongdoings in the development, marketing and distribution of mRNA vaccines.

Medical school faculty members at UF, where Ladapo is tenured, conducted their own investigation. The Faculty Council referred the resulting report to the UF Office of Research Integrity, Security and Compliance, a move that compels the university to consider a formal investigation of Ladapo for a breach of research integrity principles.

The report determined the information Ladapo used has “serious shortcomings” of which he was made aware. It said the data he relied on “barely” qualified as statistically significant, and his analysis and guidance failed to compare the risk of vaccination with benefits, including limiting COVID-19 deaths and reducing hospitalizations.

Such actions, the task force wrote, “exemplifies ‘careless, irregular’ or contentious research practices.’”

“Indeed, based on an analysis that is seriously flawed … Dr. Ladapo makes policy recommendations that are in direct conflict with those of every other major U.S. scientific and public health organization, which are based on published studies contradicting his finding,” a summary of the task force report said.

Further, the analysis Ladapo used — which included no named authors — claimed deaths were cardiac-related without sufficient supportive evidence, making Ladapo’s guidance a potential violation of UF’s research integrity policy concerning “questionable research practices.”

“While Dr. Ladapo has the right and responsibility to develop public health policy as the state Surgeon General, he must simultaneously uphold the expectations and responsibilities of a tenured professor,” the task force wrote.

Responding to a summary of the UF task force’s report, DOH spokesperson Jae Williams III suggested Ladapo’s faculty peers were only trying to disparage him. He told the Post the research Ladapo used “has no affiliation with the university and was a surveillance assessment of public health data within the Surgeon General’s authority.”

“It is interesting,” he said, “that the Faculty Council spent such a significant amount of time to vilify their colleague’s work.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends that people 6 months or older receive a coronavirus vaccine.

The CDC also notes that instances of myocarditis and pericarditis associated with mRNA vaccination — conditions Ladapo cited in his guidance against vaccines — have “rarely been reported.” In most cases where such conditions are reported, the agency says, patients with those conditions who received care responded well to medicine and treatment and recovered soon after.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Vince Edwards

    January 4, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    It’s interesting also that a colleague from Ladapo’s previous university refused to recommend him for the Florida gig.

  • Donna Wright

    January 4, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    I have always assumed that Desantis gave UF something in return for this quack to have his own letterhead. I also assumed that UF had him sufficiently contained and away from direct patient contact.

  • PeterH

    January 4, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    No surprise here! If you follow the advice of this administration you should expect the worse!

    Republicans are America’s problem!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Don’t Look Up

    January 4, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    Joseph Ladapo would lose his license to practice medicine in most states!

    But not here in DeSantis’s FREEDUMB STATE OF FLORIDA!

  • Joe Corsin

    January 4, 2023 at 3:38 pm

    Step on up there and lie for those crackers there Uncle Tom. You’re in the wrong party.

  • SteveHC

    January 4, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    Ladapo’s both a crackpot and a quack, plain and simple. Anybody who listens to even one word from his mouth is out of his or her mind. His appointment(s) here in Florida serve only to highlight the dangerousness of DeSantis and the gullability of those who’ve voted for him. REMEMBER – Hitler was initially ELECTED into office.

  • Bill Brown

    January 5, 2023 at 12:49 am

    It is always interesting to read the comments of people which read the headline and assume the article is true. Note that this article does not list any studies showing that the Vaccine is safe from heart death complications. It even states without references that people WITH DISCOVERED HEART CONDITIONS are treated and survive. It is well known that right now if you are a medical doctor/technician who finds a death directly related to the vaccine, they will not report it in fear of losing their license to practice. That is why the truth about the complications of the vaccine cannot be verified.

  • SteveHC

    January 5, 2023 at 2:14 am

    “Bill Brown” – You suffer from what is known as a shared fixed delusion. I recommend you get yourself on some really good meds by paying a visit to a genuine medical doctor ASAP.

  • Silkester

    January 8, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    Bill, there is a method to check validity, find others who also researched the problem. There is a study from a science group directed by Prof. Christian Eugen Mueller at the Universitätsklinikum Basel, they found an incidence of 0,0035%. That is extremely rare, if you wondered.

Comments are closed.


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