(As originally published with bells and whistles, Mon, March 7th 2022, 10:13 AM EST)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable called “The Curtain Close on Covid Theater” to discuss what he considers the failure of COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates.
He was joined by state surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo, as well as other physicians and epidemiologists, Monday morning.
This comes on the same day the worldwide death toll from COVID surpassed 6 million. The AP reports that number is believed to be a vast undercount and shows the pandemic in its third year is far from done.
Members of the Florida House Democratic Caucus have been responding to the news conference and the claims being made.
Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, wrote, “Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has continued to undermine the severity of COVID-19 despite over 70,000 people in our state dying as a result of the virus. With over 17 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, we have all started to feel a sense of normalcy again. Ladapo remains an outlier in the scientific community as our nation works toward a safer and healthier future for everyone, including our children. It is unfortunate that our State’s Department of Health is being led by someone who fails to put the health of Floridians before the Governor’s political games.”
According to Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, “This is just another sign that this man is not fit for the job. There is no validity to any portion of his statements. Vaccines save lives. It is a sad day in our state, when our Surgeon General, the person tasked with looking out for the health of our people, goes against the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC just to play politics. Whether we are talking about COVID 19 or a myriad of other preventable diseases, vaccines save lives. There can no longer be any doubt that the Governor and the Surgeon General of the State are not working to keep our children safe, but simply playing politics.”
Last week, both DeSantis and Ladapo questioned wearing masks to help prevent COVID-19.
DeSantis used the phrase “Covid theater” while suggesting students at the University of South Florida in Tampa take off their masks for his news conference.
Video of that exchange became a campaign ad for his reelection bid.