Florida’s Ladapo Announces New Study on COVID-19 Vaccines, Sending Critics into Frenzy

Florida Surgeon General Joseph A Ladapo announced that he is initiating a new study investigating the relationship between COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis, a form of heart disease caused by heart muscle inflammation.

During the roundtable on Tuesday with medical professionals and Gov. Ron DeSantis, he explained he plans to work with the University of Florida to investigate the sudden deaths of otherwise-healthy individuals shortly after COVID-19 vaccination by utilizing autopsy results.

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The announcement resulted in backlash, with multiple medical professionals weighing in. Elena Cyrus, an epidemiologist from the University of Central Florida, told the Sun Sentinel in an email on Wednesday that she had no problem with further study but worried over the “messaging” it puts out.

The Sun Sentinel wrote, “Despite the small risk of myocarditis, major medical organizations, including the American Heart Association, are all in consensus that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risk.”

However, Ladapo explained that he plans to look into incidents of myocarditis that were often not taken into account in these studies. The incident’s he’s examining are those of sudden deaths in the home, which can only be examined through autopsy records, not the medical records many large studies rely on.


“These are people who are not counted in any of those estimates that the CDC like to pretend are accurate. So we are initiating a program here in Florida where we will be studying the incidents in surveillance of myocarditis within a few weeks of vaccination for people who died.”

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Still, Ladapo’s study announcements opened up waterworks. Dr. Frederick Southwick, an infectious disease specialist and member of the Committee to Protect Health Care, a progressive advocacy group, told the Sun Sentinel that he’s so upset.over the announcement of the study. Southwick then spoke for all relevant professionals, claiming, “Every infectious disease doctor [and] epidemiologist is taken aback.” The Sentinel reported that Southwick thought Ladapo was cherry-picking a small minority of people, saying, “It’s just really, really frustrating that a national figure like this would be carrying science in the way that he is doing.”

While the initial German study that discovered this phenomenon of unreported myocarditis shortly after vaccination was small, Ladapo’s study will presumably increase scale. Whether or not this oversight of myocarditis cases will change the math regarding the cost and benefit of taking COVID-19 vaccines is unknown, and Ladapo made no claim that it necessarily would, but it’s the question he is looking to answer.

“It is a question that I’m sure keeps the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna up late at night, hoping no one ever looks. But we’re going to look here in Florida.”

-Joseph Ladapo


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