FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer

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FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Florida’s new surgeon general has been accused of refusing to don a mask for a meeting with a state senator who is battling breast cancer – then telling her it was fun to do so. 

Tina Polsky, the Florida senator, received a breast cancer diagnosis in August, and will soon begin radiation therapy. 

She said she asked Joseph Ladapo to put on a face mask ‘several times’ earlier this week during a one-on-one meeting in her office, only for him to allegedly refuse. 

‘I told him I had a serious medical condition,’ Polsky said, according to FloridaPolitics.com.

FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
Florida State Senator Tina Polsky (pictured) received a breast cancer diagnosis in August, and is will soon begin radiation therapy. She said she asked Joseph Ladapo to put on a face mask ‘several times’ earlier this week during a one-on-one meeting in her office Joseph Ladapo (pictured), who has previously downplayed COVID vaccines and advocates ‘the right to choose how to best protect themselves and their families,’ earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and has a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ‘I really wanted to interview him. I had a lot of good questions,’ State Senator Tina Polsky, pictured. said. ‘So that was unfortunate that I didn’t do it. But I felt really uncomfortable’ In a September 16 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, the Joseph Ladapo (pictured) decried ‘a zealous pursuit of public mask-wearing,’ which he wrote ‘has had, at best, a modest effect on viral transmissions’

She told the outlet that Ladapo offered to conduct the meeting outside the enclosed space, to which she responded: ‘I don’t want to go outside – I want you to sit in my office and talk to you.’

When Polsky asked the surgeon general why he was unwilling to wear a mask, she said he ‘smile[d] and didn’t answer’ in response.’

‘He’s very smug,’ she said. ‘I told him several times “I have this very serious medical condition” and he said “that’s OK” like it basically has nothing to do with what we were talking about.’

At that point, Polsky said she asked him to leave her office – but Ladapo made sure to get the last word in: 

‘Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun,’ Ladapo said as he let the room, according to Polsky.

‘I really wanted to interview him. I had a lot of good questions,’ Polsky said. ‘So that was unfortunate that I didn’t do it. But I felt really uncomfortable.’

Polsky retweeted a post on Twitter, which she said was an ‘excellent question,’ suggesting that Ladapo may have reacted differently if she was a ‘Republican male Senator.’ 

FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
© Provided by Daily Mail Polsky retweeted a post on Twitter, which she said was an ‘excellent question,’ suggesting that Ladapo may have reacted differently if she was a ‘Republican male Senator’
FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
© Provided by Daily Mail Ladapo also promoted malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus. Former President Donald Trump said he took the drug, which was briefly authorized by the FDA before the decision was quickly reversed, when he contracted the virus last year

People with cancer and undergoing harsh cancer treatments are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms should they contract COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

A Department of Health spokesperson refuted Polsky’s account.     

‘Dr. Ladapo is committed to meeting with members of the Legislature regardless of their party affiliation to discuss policy, even when they do not agree on the subject at hand,’ spokesperson Weesam Khoury told FloridaPolitics.com. 

‘Meetings between highly regarded and intelligent, elected and appointed officials happen all the time, and it is disappointing you don’t hear about them more — but it is probably because the only time they get reported is when a genuine meeting turns into a media headline expected from a gossip column.’

Ladapo, who has previously downplayed COVID vaccines and advocates ‘the right to choose how to best protect themselves and their families,’ earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and has a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

He was appointed for the role of surgeon general by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who shares Ladapo’s distaste for vaccine mandates.  

FL surgeon general wouldn't mask up to meet state senator with cancer
© Provided by Daily Mail The surgeon general was appointed for the role of surgeon general by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (pictured), who shares Ladapo’s distaste for vaccine mandates

‘Vaccines are up to the person. There is nothing special about them compared to any other preventative measure,’ Ladapo told reporters in September.

In a September 16 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, the doctor decried ‘a zealous pursuit of public mask-wearing,’ which he wrote ‘has had, at best, a modest effect on viral transmissions.’ 

Ladapo also promoted malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus. Former President Donald Trump said he took the drug, which was briefly authorized by the FDA before the decision was quickly reversed, when he contracted the virus last year 

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