TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — As a result of Gov. Ron DeSantis nominating Dr. Joseph Ladapo as Florida Surgeon General in September, a state Senate committee recommended to confirm him Tuesday along partisan lines.
The confirmation came after the Democratic members of the committee walked out in protest mid-hearing.
The Senate Committee on Health Policy meeting began at 10 a.m., with senators expected to question Ladapo on health decisions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and state policy directives. Ladapo has been a topic of concern for some legislators over his positions on how to address the ongoing pandemic, and his medical philosophy.
Following his appointment as State Surgeon General, Ladapo quickly made headlines for how he had rewritten and adjusted state policy for COVID-19 in education. While state leaders have been supportive of Ladapo, Democratic lawmakers have not been as receptive.
With the confirmation hearing Tuesday, Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates weighed in. Nikki Fried, a candidate and the current Florida Agriculture Commissioner, called on the governor to reverse his appointment. During the confirmation hearing, the question and answer session between Ladapo and Democratic Party members of the state senate grew heated.
The surgeon general declined to definitively answer questions about the efficacy of vaccinations for COVID-19, when pressed by Sen. Lauren Book (D-Broward), and would not answer questions about a previous incident involving a Democratic lawmaker who asked him to wear a mask at a meeting, which he refused to do.