Exclusive — Florida Surgeon General Ladapo Strikes Back After Rachel Maddow Smear: ‘Factually Incorrect’

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Florida’s Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, is striking back after MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made a series of egregious claims during Monday’s segment of The Rachel Maddow Show, squarely targeting the doctor, who has risen to the spotlight for speaking out against coronavirus mandates and the left’s maiming of critics of their narrative.

Maddow devoted a lengthy segment as part of a greater attempt to deconstruct critics of the Biden administration’s coronavirus response, including Ladapo, a clinical researcher, physician, and surgeon general of Florida. She took particular issue with Ladapo’s science-based position that masks are not a particularly effective way to prevent the spread of the virus and criticized the official for highlighting the concerns of people who are still hesitant about the vaccines, including immediate adverse effects and longterm side effects, the latter of which remain largely unknown.

“There has been a concerted effort to prevent these types of stories, these experiences from receiving the attention that they obviously should receive,” the surgeon general said, sparking a series of smug remarks from the MSNBC host, who also took issue with his association with the group America’s Frontline Doctors, speaking at one of their events in July 2020.

However, the crux of her segment centered around anonymous sources who questioned Ladapo’s history of treating coronavirus patients. Maddow’s researchers claimed to talk to “multiple people” who worked at UCLA hospital, where Ladapo worked for five years, and said they did not believe the surgeon general worked on coronavirus patients.

Maddow claimed:

And four of these sources tell us that before that press conference he took part in on the steps of the Supreme Court in July of 2020, in which he billed himself as one of America`s Frontline Doctors, four sources who alongside him at UCLA tell us they do not believe Dr. Ladapo had actually treated COVID patients at all at UCLA when he stood up there and called himself a frontline doctor. They also say his numerous op-eds greatly mischaracterized the type of work he was doing during the pandemic.

Speaking exclusively with Breitbart News, Ladapo addressed Maddow’s claim, emphasizing that he primarily does research and “never” claimed to be a frontline doctor.

“It would be crazy, because I’m not a frontline doctor. I take care of patients in the hospital. But that’s a minority of my role. And the same thing here at the University of Florida. I primarily do clinical research and I have tremendous appreciation for my colleagues who are frontline doctors. But that’s not my role. So my role is that, in addition to clinic research, I’ve taken care of patients in the hospital, first in New York, then in Los Angeles, and I work with residents and medical students, so there’s a teaching component also. And that’s what I do. I’m attending the team. I’m board certified. And it’s work that I enjoy doing,” he said before addressing Maddow’s claims that he had never worked with coronavirus patients — a claim he said is demonstratively false.

One of the Maddow’s sources, who was part of a team taking care of coronavirus patients at the beginning of the pandemic, said Ladapo was not part of that particular team, although there were two separate groups —  “general medicine and ICU, plus a volunteer program to take care of COVID-19 patients.” The source claimed Ladapo was part of neither. 

She also cited scheduling documents spanning from June 2019 to September 2021, claiming that none pointed to Ladapo as scheduled to treat coronavirus patients, specifically. She cited other anonymous sources who claimed they were glad Ladapo was no longer at UCLA because they were “embarrassed by his opinions.”

“At the same time, we don’t wish this on the people of Florida. They don`t deserve to have something like him making their health decisions,” the unnamed source said. 

Overall, Maddow attempted to make it sound as if Ladapo lied about his work over the last 10 years. Another hostile-sounding anonymous source described Ladapo as a “right wing media darling.”

Her series of assertions, however, are grossly lacking proper context, as Ladapo did, in fact, treat coronavirus patients prior to the UCLA ward being created. In January 2021, they dissolved the ward, sending both non-coronavirus patients, as well as coronavirus patients, to the normal teams, on which he served. Essentially, from January to August, he received any patient assigned to him, and that included coronavirus patients.

“I was taking care of patients with COVID-19 when I was working in the hospital in March, and this is before the COVID-19 team treatment team was established,” Ladapo told Breitbart News. “So I was taking care of patients when I was working in the hospital that week and then I actually volunteered to be on the COVID-19 team. There’s documentation of that.”

However, while Ladapo had to rescind his offer due to scheduling conflicts with his children and picking them up for school, he volunteered again “just to help out” in November 2020, working “specifically with COVID patients,” he told Breitbart News.

“And then when the team was dissolved, the COVID-19 team was dissolved in January 2021, patients with COVID came to all the medical teams. So I had those patients when they came to the hospital from the emergency department. They came directly to my team,” he explained.

“So it was strange to kind of see the story because it’s factually incorrect,” he said, describing the segment as nothing more than attempt to discredit someone whose career has been based on credibility “both clinically and in research.”

“And they’re sort of trying to make people believe something else than what is actually true about me and my career,” he said.

Breitbart News also spoke to one doctor who cares for coronavirus patients and is acquainted with Ladapo and his work in this area.

“There are a number of facilities and the system is spread across the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. … the idea that they managed to connect with a few random doctors who weren’t familiar with him indicates to me that they just talked to the wrong people, because it’s a huge system,” he told Breitbart News, adding he has seen the patient logs.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that he has a substantial familiarity with the clinical needs of these patients, personal experience with it, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that a few random people that were contacted were not personally familiar with his work,” the doctor said, adding that there seems to be an innate instinct of “political correctness” in the field.

“I think there’s sort of an ingrained hostility to anybody who sort of steps out of line. So somebody like him who’s willing to put himself out there and say things that are a little unorthodox really rubs the institutional people the wrong way. I think that’s part of it too,” he added.

When asked why he believes the establishment media is attempting to maim his credibility, Ladapo concluded that they are “probably unhappy” with some of the messages he has communicated, “particularly the fact that I’ve stayed close to the data.”

“We’ve seen complete politicization of the data during this pandemic and really people drawing conclusions from studies that are very far, sort of far removed from the actual data in those studies,” he said.

“That’s true for mask wearing, that’s true for these lockdowns —  the notion they were effective, and they really were ineffective” and “harmful,” he claimed.

Since taking on the role as the Sunshine State’s surgeon general, Ladapo has stood beside Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as the administration champions individual freedom over fear in the era of the pandemic.

“We’re done with fear. It’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 is done,” Ladapo said in September, adding that vaccines have been “treated almost like a religion” among far-left U.S. health officials and the establishment media.

“And that’s just senseless. There are lots of good pathways to health; vaccination is not the only one,” he said. “We support measures for good health, vaccination, losing weight, eating more fruits and vegetables.”

“We need to respect human rights,” he added at the time. “People do have autonomy over their lives. It’s not OK, it’s not virtuous, and it’s not right to just take away those rights from individuals.”

Such positions have made Ladapo a target of the far left, likely prompting Maddow’s problematic investigation. When asked if others in the medical community hold the same sentiments as himself but are remaining quiet over fears of attacks, Ladapo said that is “definitely” the case.

“Oh definitely. That’s definitely the case.  I’ve had many people confide in me privately that they support the messages and the work I’ve done and they really appreciate it and they said they — I’ve had people tell me they don’t feel comfortable being outspoken because they don’t want the negative attention or they’re worried about their job, or they have other concerns,” he said.

“Some people have stepped up anyway, which I’m always happy to see,” he added. “But there’s this tremendous pressure right now for people to basically fall in line.”


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