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He is Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a 2008 graduate of Harvard Medical school, who also earned a doctorate from Harvard in health policy.
The Globe wrote:
Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, Florida’s new surgeon general, made waves Wednesday in the Sunshine State, inking new guidelines allowing parents to decide whether their kids should quarantine or stay in school if they’re asymptomatic following exposure to COVID-19, and he’s also spoken critically about the public health focus on vaccines as a key tool for battling the pandemic…
He wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal in September 2020 criticizing lockdowns and quarantines.
He wrote in that column, which appeared long before the emergence of the worrisome Delta variant, that many states had “weathered post-shutdown outbreaks and case counts are falling,” and that policies “forged in fear and panic have wrought tremendous damage in exchange for benefits that were attainable at a much lower cost.”
Ladapo also railed in the piece against what he said were onerous quarantine guidelines for students.
“The CDC’s quarantine guidelines for healthy, low-risk students should be revisited in light of the outsize effect quarantines have on their educational experience—and the possibility of perpetual quarantining for exposed students if testing is performed frequently,” he wrote.
After Dr. Lapado’s appointment, he moved swiftly to reduce the state’s already lax guidelines for students.
Ladapo eliminated previous mandates requiring students to quarantine for at least four days off campus if they’ve been exposed to the virus. Under the new guidelines, students who have been exposed can continue going to campus, “without restrictions or disparate treatment,” if they’re asymptomatic, They can also quarantine, but no longer than seven days, as long as they don’t get sick.
As in previous guidelines, schools can require masks as long as students can opt out, though the new rules add language that opting out is “at the parent or legal guardian’s sole discretion.”
Dr. Lapado was one of three doctors who signed the so-called Great Barrington Declaration, which held that wearing masks was not necessary, that lockdowns are ineffective, “and that allowing young and healthy people to get infected should be expected, as long as the vulnerable are protected.”
Other medical and public health experts are appalled by his views.
That sort of messaging has distressed many in public health, including Dr. Nida Qadir, an associate professor of medicine and associate director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Ladapo taught previously at UCLA as well.
“He’s expressed a lot of strange views since the beginning of the pandemic,” Qadir tweeted. “I don’t know him personally, but it’s been especially shocking considering the state LA was in this past winter. Can’t say I’m not happy he’s leaving CA but sorry for the people of FL.”
Ladapo has expressed skepticism of Covid-19 health measures, including mask-wearing and vaccinations. He’s also among a group of doctors who have supported unproven and disproved therapies, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine….
He praises the natural immunity that people acquire when they are infected with COVID.
“You don’t need to go to medical school to look at the data and see that there’s really great protection” offered by getting infected with and recovering from Covid-19, Ladapo said. “There’s tremendous data that supports the fact that natural immunity protects people from getting very ill, also protects people from being infected again. So that’s what it is, and that’s great.”
CNN wrote about Dr. Lapado after a Florida man wrote him a letter saying that he was right about natural immunity. A family member had COVID and now has immunity to all diseases because he died.