PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced he is naming Dr. Joseph Ladapo from UCLA Health as Florida’s new surgeon general, replacing Dr. Scott Rivkees, whose contract expired last month.
“I want to set an example for other states, throughout the country and beyond,” Ladapo, an associate professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said at the press conference on Tuesday.
Ladapo said he was tackling his new endeavor with a positive three-prong approach.
First, we will reject fear,” he said referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Unfortunately, it has been a centerpiece and the expiration date is now, it’s done.”
The doctor stated that he and others have seen a lot of fear associated with the disease, which is caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and that while it should be acknowledged it shouldn’t scare people.
He also said he would make sure that when reporting data the science is separated from opinion.
“Science has been misrepresented,” he said, noting that some have been taking misrepresenting the science based on their own opinions and agendas and he wants to make sure this stops at his level of the administration.
“And thirdly, I want to make sure public health is not a single item,” noting that the news cycle and all aspects of public health have been dominated by the pandemic.
Ladapo a graduate of Harvard Medical School, said that people should have autonomy over their lives and are the best judge of what is best for them when it comes to their health, and he is not a fan of lockdowns.
“I read a recent study that said that after the lockdown the mortality increased,” he said. “Lockdowns are bad.”
Ladapo graduated from Wake Forest University and received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He was born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States at the age of 5.
Along with his duties as the state’s new surgeon general, Ladapo will be teaching at the University of Florida.
“We have two boys,” he said of his family who are still in California. “Whenever they start giving me a hard time about moving, I remind them that we are moving where Disney World is and then they’re alright.”