The Phoenix Flyer

Florida Surgeon General to campaign with Gov. Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire

By: - October 31, 2023 2:53 pm

Gov. DeSantis and Suregon General Ladapo will appear together in the early primary state of New Hampshire. | Never Back Down PAC

When it comes to one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ favorite topics, vaccine skepticism – which he often calls “medical freedom” – he is often joined at the hip by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.

The two will take their show to the presidential campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Wednesday for a “Medical Freedom Town Hall” sponsored by the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down PAC.

A flyer for the event notes, “Dr. Ladapo will be attending in his personal capacity.”

Neither the Never Back Down PAC, which supports the governor’s presidential campaign, nor the Florida Commission on Ethics responded to an inquiry from The Phoenix on how Ladapo’s appearance does or does not violate regulations in time for publication.

Ladapo, a tenured professor at the University of Florida, where he has brought his brand of vaccine-skepticism, is often at Gov. DeSantis’ side, with full-throated support for the governor’s agenda.

As surgeon general, he defied federal recommendations and directed the Florida Department of Health to advise against anyone under 65 from receiving a COVID-19 booster.

A one-page guidance document from Florida’s Department of Health released in September said, “While the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by the [FDA] utilizing human clinical trial data, the most recent booster approval was granted in the absence of any meaningful booster-specific clinical trial data performed in humans. In both cases the federal government has failed to provide sufficient data to support the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a dashboard on “Vaccine Safety Research and Safety Studies,” with reports by the Institute of Medicine. 

The event comes at a time when the Florida governor is polling third in New Hampshire, according to FiveThirtyEight, which analyzes poll averages, and he trails former President Donald Trump by more than 43 percentage points nationally.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has also recently tied with the DeSantis in Iowa, according to the latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

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Christian Casale
Christian Casale

Christian covers education, politics, and whatever else interests him for the Florida Phoenix. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor with the Independent Florida Alligator.