Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has cut data from a COVID-19 vaccine safety study, according to multiple reports.
Ladapo was appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021 to head the Florida Department of Health.
It has drawn close scrutiny over its resistance to COVID-19 mandates for vaccines and masks.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — An analysis that was the basis of a highly criticized recommendation by the Florida surgeon general warning young people against the COVID-19 vaccine omitted information showing that catching the virus it could increase the risk of death from heart causes much more than getting the mRNA injected, according to drafts of the analysis obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.
The non-binding recommendation made by Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo last fall ran counter to advice given by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ladapo, a Harvard-trained doctor who was appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021 to head the Florida Department of Health, has drawn close scrutiny over his shared resistance with the Republican governor to COVID-19 mandates for vaccines and masks , and other health policies approved by the federal government.
Early drafts of the analysis obtained by the Times through a request for documents showed that contracting COVID-19 could increase the chances of death from heart causes far more than getting the vaccine, but that information was missing from the final version released by the Department of Health. of Florida last October.
Ladapo said the risk for men aged 18 to 39 of having heart complications outweighs the benefits of getting the mRNA vaccine.
Several weeks after the Tampa Bay Times report, Politico released a draft showing Ladapo’s notes. The document entitled “Dr. L’s Edits” shows where the language has been changed.
Matt Hitchings, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, told the Times it appears sections of the analysis were omitted because they didn’t fit the narrative the surgeon general wanted to push.
“This is a serious violation of research integrity,” Hitchings said. “(The vaccine) has done a lot to improve the health of people in Florida and it’s encouraging people to be wary.”
In a Twitter statement posted Saturday in response to the Times story, Ladapo said, “It’s not only unfortunate that COVID has corrupted scientists’ ability to think clearly about epidemiology, it’s also sad that people are rushing to defend a vaccine that has shown increased cardiovascular risk in multiple studies.”
In a statement to Politico Ladapo said: “To say I have ‘removed an analysis’ for a particular result is an implied denial that the public has been the recipient of data and biased interpretations since the inception of mRNA COVID- 19 vaccination campaign. I have never been afraid of disagreement with colleagues or with the media”.
Last year, Ladapo issued guidance recommending that healthy children not be vaccinated, contradicting federal public health leaders whose advice says all children should be given the shots. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Florida branch issued written statements reiterating support for vaccinating eligible children ages 5 and older against COVID-19.
DeSantis, who is contemplating a GOP presidential bid, also called for a grand jury to be convened to investigate any wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 vaccines. DeSantis’ request argues that pharmaceutical companies had a financial interest in creating a climate in which people believed that getting a coronavirus vaccine would ensure they couldn’t spread the virus to others.
The Florida Supreme Court granted the request last December.
Read the original article on Business Insider