TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Democrats walked out of a state Senate confirmation hearing for Dr. Joseph Ladapo Wednesday morning, calling it a sham.
‼️BREAKING‼️ Democratic Senators abstain and walk out from this sham of a confirmation hearing. Senate Democrats know Floridians deserve better than a doctor of disinformation as the top public health official of the state. pic.twitter.com/sSgmoufDkk— Florida Senate Democrats (@FLSenateDems) January 26, 2022
In a tweet, the Florida Senate Democrats referred to Ladapo as a doctor of disinformation.
Governor DeSantis selected Ladapo to be the next surgeon general in September. At that time he was a controversial choice due to op-eds he had written during the COVID-19 pandemic questioning the efficacy of shutdowns, publicly supported hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 in 2020, said vaccine mandates can't stop COVID's spread, and said: "tools for stopping variants are limited and, like masks and distancing, vaccines are not a panacea."
During the confirmation hearing, Ladapo would not directly answer whether or not he believed the COVID-19 vaccine was effective. Following the walkout, Ladapo's nomination was advanced by the GOP members remaining in the Senate.