TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — During an interview with Tucker Carlson on Monday, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo expounded on the Department of Health’s (DOH) recent decision to recommend against COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for men aged 18–39.
The Florida Department of Health made the announcement on Saturday in a press release linked to Ladapo’s tweet, citing an analysis that found an “84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.”
Twitter removed the post, calling it “misinformation,” but later restored the post on Sunday morning after backlash against the censorship.
WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN APPROVED
“It’s an enormous deal,” Ladapo told Carlson about the findings. “I talk to people and there’s been so much confusion, as you know, over the past few years that people have trouble sometimes even identifying when something has so clearly crossed the line.”
Ladapo said he challenges people who are “still hemming and hawing” over the potential risks associated with the vaccine by asking them this question: “If it had been known two years ago that this vaccine would increase cardiac deaths in young men by 84%, would they have approved it?”
“The obvious answer is no,” Ladapo said in response to the rhetorical question. “You would never give something to someone who is young and healthy and increase their risk of dying from sudden cardiac death by 84%.”
“THIS ISN’T GOING AWAY”
The surgeon general also underscored a key distinction that needs to be made between health problems caused by the virus and those appearing after vaccination.
“Yes, COVID can be terrible, but we don’t give people medications that kill them,” Ladapo said. “It’s just a reflection of how many things have been so backwards during the pandemic. Of course you look more closely at cardiac adverse events when you already know that the vaccine is increasing the incidents of myocarditis in young men by 10, 20, 30 times. That’s what the studies show.”
When Carlson asked Ladapo why more states were not providing similar guidance, Ladapo suggested Florida is the only one scrutinizing the vaccine.
“I think frankly it’s because we are the only one that’s asked the question,” he said.
Ladapo concluded his remarks with a foreboding warning to those hoping the disconcerting news will taper off, saying: “This isn’t going away, this is real and it’s important. It’s incredibly important.”
On Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reported the U.S. Department of Health and Human services responded to Ladapo and DOH’s recommendation.
“This decision is flawed and a far cry from the science: COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective, and severe adverse reactions are rare,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Sarah Lovenheim said in a statement. “Vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and since then, tens of millions of Americans have received COVID-19 vaccines.”
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, told the paper he believes the DOH’s analysis did not justify the formal recommendation against the vaccine.
“Our goal is not to get into like a fight or a tiff, because public health isn’t served well by this,” he said. “Our goal is to help get to ... an acceptance that there are overall benefits of these vaccines, despite the fact that yes, it is true that there could be some side effects.”