Florida pulls government-sponsored COVID ads promoting vaccines
Former President Donald Trump, during a recent event in Dallas with radio host Bill O’Reilly, revealed that he had received a COVID-19 booster shot — arguing that he deserves credit for the vaccines and that Republicans should embrace them as a MAGA accomplishment. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pandering to anti-vaxxers, and state-sponsored COVID-19 ads — according to Miami’s WPLG Local 10, an NBC-affiliated television station — “have been pulled from Florida’s airwaves.”
“The new ads that replaced them make no mention of the vaccine,” WPLG’s Glenna Milberg reports. “Spots are produced by the Florida Department of Health, which then disseminates them to stations around the state. Direction for the new ads come straight from the top, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the change has been noticeable. New Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo appears in the new ad, which shows a vaccine, but never says the word.”
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Ladapo, who opposes mask, vaccine and testing mandates, has drawn criticism from many health officials for saying that there is “nothing special” about COVID-19 vaccines.
“There is nothing special about them compared to any other preventive measure,” Ladapo said. “It’s been treated almost like a religion, and that’s just senseless. We support measures to good health. That’s vaccination, losing weight, exercising more, eating more fruits and vegetables, everything.”
In an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on April 19, Ladapo wrote, “Don’t put one illness above all other problems in society, a condition known as ‘COVID mania.’” Ladapo also claimed, “Masks are not the panacea officials have presented them as.”
But many other health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci — President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser in the White House — have aggressively encouraged getting COVID-19 vaccines and wearing protective masks, stressing that vaccinated people who are infected with COVID-19 are much less likely to die from it or required hospitalization than the unvaccinated.
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