COVID - Dr. Ladapo, fact checks are needed!

A recent LTE by Karen Butler ("Be thankful Governor followed science", Feb 15) praised the selection of Dr. Joseph Ladapo for Florida surgeon general. Dr. Ladapo certainly has an impressive resume, and in media interviews has recommended flu vaccines as a means of reducing heart attacks and saving lives.

A recent LTE by Karen Butler ("Be thankful Governor followed science", Feb 15) praised the selection of Dr. Joseph Ladapo for Florida surgeon general. Dr. Ladapo certainly has an impressive resume, and in media interviews has recommended flu vaccines as a means of reducing heart attacks and saving lives.


But when COVID-19 hit, Ladapo became associated with America's Frontline Doctors, a far-right group known for promoting falsehoods about the pandemic. It was then that Ladapo began promoting unproven treatments (ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine), opposed vaccine requirements and questioned their safety, and falsely stated he had spent a week caring for COVID patients at UCLA's flagship hospital when records and staff have shown he had not. Is Dr. Ladapo a good choice for surgeon general? No Ms. Butler, not when he doesn't follow the science.


Ms. Butler points to two studies in support of her contention that "the policies of two years ago did little to save lives and prevent the spread." The first was the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), which promoted herd immunity through Covid infections. The GBD was written by three professors (not doctors). The World Health Organization (WHO) along with numerous other academic and public health groups have publicly stated that the GBD is "dangerous, unethical, and lacks a sound scientific basis". The GBD is NOT a good representation of polices promoted by the scientific health community two years ago; just the opposite.


The second was from Johns Hopkins, a working paper (not a study) titled "Lockdowns Had ‘Little To No Effect On COVID-19 Mortality’ But Had ‘Devastating’ Effects On Society". Johns Hopkins University has NOT endorsed this working paper. Also, the paper (submitted by three economists, not epidemiologists) was NOT peer-reviewed and its methodology found flawed. The biggest flaw is its definition of 'lockdown': “as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention”. This would make a mask wearing policy a lockdown. For a meta-analysis using a definition that is at odds with the dictionary definition (a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure) is strange. Another flaw is that this working paper only included the analysis of other 'working papers' and not peer-reviewed studies. Therefore, this working paper is NOT a valid critique of polices promoted by the scientific health community two years ago.


In conclusion, it is always prudent to fact-check everything being promoted, especially statements by Dr. Ladapo.

But when COVID-19 hit, Ladapo became associated with America's Frontline Doctors, a far-right group known for promoting falsehoods about the pandemic. It was then that Ladapo began promoting unproven treatments (ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine), opposed vaccine requirements and questioned their safety, and falsely stated he had spent a week caring for COVID patients at UCLA's flagship hospital when records and staff have shown he had not. Is Dr. Ladapo a good choice for surgeon general? No Ms. Butler, not when he doesn't follow the science.


Ms. Butler points to two studies in support of her contention that "the policies of two years ago did little to save lives and prevent the spread." The first was the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), which promoted herd immunity through Covid infections. The GBD was written by three professors (not doctors). The World Health Organization (WHO) along with numerous other academic and public health groups have publicly stated that the GBD is "dangerous, unethical, and lacks a sound scientific basis". The GBD is NOT a good representation of polices promoted by the scientific health community two years ago; just the opposite.


The second was from Johns Hopkins, a working paper (not a study) titled "Lockdowns Had ‘Little To No Effect On COVID-19 Mortality’ But Had ‘Devastating’ Effects On Society". Johns Hopkins University has NOT endorsed this working paper. Also, the paper (submitted by three economists, not epidemiologists) was NOT peer-reviewed and its methodology found flawed. The biggest flaw is its definition of 'lockdown': “as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention”. This would make a mask wearing policy a lockdown. For a meta-analysis using a definition that is at odds with the dictionary definition (a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure) is strange. Another flaw is that this working paper only included the analysis of other 'working papers' and not peer-reviewed studies. Therefore, this working paper is NOT a valid critique of polices promoted by the scientific health community two years ago.


In conclusion, it is always prudent to fact-check everything being promoted, especially statements by Dr. Ladapo.

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