TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s top health official are directly contradicting federal health recommendations, saying there’s not enough evidence a new COVID booster provides benefits that outweigh risks.
DeSantis, who is running for president, and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo discussed the vaccine with doctors Wednesday on a Zoom call livestreamed on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. It repeated much of what they said a week ago during a live event in Jacksonville, in which they warned against the vaccine the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved this week.
Ladapo was appointed by DeSantis in 2021 and has attracted national scrutiny over his close alignment with the governor in opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other health policies embraced by the federal government. Ladapo’s previous warnings against COVID-19 vaccines prompted a public letter from federal health agencies saying his claims were harmful to the public.
DeSantis said Wednesday that COVID measures have become a flashpoint in society and his state has taken a different approach.