Nigerian-born physician, Dr. Joseph Ladipo, was announced the Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the state’s Department of Health by Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, at a news conference on Tuesday.
Dr Lapido, who received his medical degree and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University, immigrated to the United States at 5 years old, along with his family, when his father moved to the country to continue his studies in microbiology.
Governor DeSantis, who commended Dr Lapido for his remarkable academic and medical career, expressed confidence that he would bring great leadership to the job.
Lapido assured that the state’s interest in public health will truly be public health. “Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health. So we’re done with fear,” he said.
“That’s been something that’s been, unfortunately, a centerpiece of health policy in the United States ever since the beginning of the pandemic and it’s over here. Expiration date. It’s done.”
“We’re going to be very explicit about the differences between the science and our opinions,” he added.
Dr Lapido also argued that vaccination is not the only path to fight COVID-19.
“Vaccines are up to the person. There’s nothing special about them compared to any other preventive measure,” he said. “The state should be promoting good health, and vaccination isn’t the only path to that. It’s been treated almost like a religion. It’s just senseless. There’s lots of good pathways to health.”
He said people should be encouraged to lose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier.