Meet hydroxychloroquine touter, masks skeptic, vaccine-dismissing Dr. Joseph Ladapo, final seen buttering up considered one of Donald Trump’s most well-liked crackpot pandemic cures throughout a interval when Trump was casting about for pandemic options that may contain not doing one rattling factor on his half. Ladapo is a surgeon normal DeSantis can belief to toe the Florida Republican line when making the state’s faculties, authorities companies, eating places, cruise ships, and alligator feeding ponds into superb breeding grounds for brand spanking new COVID-19 variants.
There wasn’t an opportunity in hell DeSantis was going to choose anybody who would not nod approvingly at Republican speaking factors. DeSantis exists to serve DeSantis, and whether or not Floridians die whereas DeSantis postures for a Trumpian presidential run is a aspect situation at finest.
As for Lapado, he’s an attention-grabbing alternative. The “America’s Frontline Medical doctors” group who offered themselves to America in that video—a video Google eliminated for selling pandemic misinformation—is dodgy as hell and never close to the “frontlines” of something. Nevertheless, Tea Occasion Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin is concerned. The weird boosting of hydroxychloroquine by the group’s numerous members ought to have brought about some form of reckoning when it turned obvious the therapy was snake-oil nonsense. Nonetheless, Lapado and the others seem like detached to break carried out by these claims.
Early within the pandemic, Lapado had already scrambled to the press with a Wall Road Journal op-ed defending anti-maskers, social distancing refusers, and different public well being menaces with a relentless barrage of talking points straight out of Republican mouths. There wasn’t any phrase that Lapado was ready for U.S. deaths to inch in direction of the 700,000 mark again when he recommended that public coverage objectives must be targeted on “not overwhelming hospitals” reasonably than on stopping Individuals from getting sick within the first place.
We will take from his backing of the DeSantis method even now that he has completely no situation with the present variety of pandemic deaths—and believes the nation can tolerate significantly extra.
Certainly, Lapado is all-in on the DeSantis method. At the press event announcing his appointment, Lapado introduced the state will “reject worry as a means of creating insurance policies” and declared it was “mindless” to prioritize vaccines over, for instance, “consuming extra fruit and veggies.”
Yeah. So he is a quack, then. A quacky, quacky quack. A Trump-approved, Republican Occasion-talking-point-spewing quack desperate to solid apart his once-impressive medical credentials to announce as a substitute that possibly in case you all ate extra apples, then you definately would not want vaccines within the first place. Obtained it.
All of this means that the Florida public stays extraordinarily boned. The state’s conspiracy-promoting Republicans haven’t any plan to cut back pandemic deaths and completely little interest in doing so. DeSantis as a substitute appears to be making an attempt to achieve “herd immunity” the laborious means: by permitting the state’s whole inhabitants to be uncovered and getting the mass deaths over with, hopefully earlier than the 2024 presidential marketing campaign begins.
Even setting apart the monstrous nature of that method, it is astonishingly harmful. As we have seen, the COVID-19 virus has proven an inclination to mutate into new kinds. The present pressure of concern, delta, has each likelihood of once more mutating into one thing extra harmful nonetheless. As in Texas and different Southern states, the selection to make petri dishes out of native populations reasonably than responding aggressively to new outbreaks could but produce a harmful variant named after one of many Republican charlatans presently cultivating it.
I do not know what to inform you, Florida. A majority of Floridians voted for this, and there is nonetheless been no push amongst Florida voters at hand DeSantis’ behind to him on a platter and go off pandemic duties to any individual who would not have a baby’s soccer trophy the place his soul must be. Evidently for the state’s Republican voters, cult adherence is certainly a extra motivating drive than retaining their very own households alive, a lot much less anyone else’s.