coronavirus florida

‘Buck the CDC': DeSantis, Ladapo Announce New COVID Guidelines, Fauci Responds

Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo's new coronavirus policy recommendations

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As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes its masking recommendations, the state of Florida is doing so as well.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo announced several recommendations Friday. Among them, saying, asymptomatic people who have tested positive for COVID-19 would only have to isolate for five days, and they told business owners to let their employees work without masks.

They made these pronouncements in a video they produced called, “Buck the CDC.”

“Hello, this is Gov. Ron DeSantis, I’m here with Florida surgeon general, Dr. Joe Ladapo,” the video begins, with the two men sitting side by side. “Under Dr. Ladapo’s leadership, the Florida Department of Health is officially providing guidance to businesses recommending against forced masking of employees.”

“It’s juvenile,” said State Rep. Michael Grieco, (D) Miami Beach, referring to the title of the video. “I find it ironic that in the free state of Florida, where we’re so business-friendly, we’re running around telling businesses what they can and cannot do. I don’t know whatever happened to 'no shoes, no shirt, no service.' It is hypocritical, red meat political nonsense and we should be choosing science over politics every single time.”

“We just have to make decisions like this when the CDC, unfortunately, has become politicized and is not making decisions that are reflecting the highest quality evidence,” Ladapo says in the video.

“Well I think that’s very ill-advised, first of all, the CDC makes their guidelines on the basis of data,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief coronavirus advisor.

DeSantis and Ladapo also said physicians in Florida can use so-called “off label” medications to treat COVID.

“It’s really been a tragedy that my colleagues, my physician colleagues, have decided that it’s more important to stick with whatever the CDC or Dr. Fauci is saying than relying on their clinical wisdom, experience, and scientific expertise,” Ladapo said.

“Simply relying on outdated CDC guidance when the experience has completely undercut that, is not really a reasonable thing to do at this point,” DeSantis added.

“I’m particularly concerned about the recommendation for using drugs that have been proven to not be effective at all,” Fauci responded.

“It is a direct attack on science,” said University of Miami pediatrics professor Dr. Lisa Gwynn. “I think what’s happening now is that we’re picking and choosing what we want to believe and what we don’t want to believe based on opinions and not on facts and that is a dangerous slippery slope to be on.”

I asked Dr. Fauci in a Zoom interview what he thinks of the DeSantis Administration’s continued attacks on him.

“The only thing I do is make public health recommendations, so I think the people of Florida need to just think about it for a second, that a person that’s done nothing but work for their health is being demonized by a political figure,” Fauci said.

Fauci said he does not totally disagree with the state’s five-day isolation period recommendation, but said people in the position should mask up for five additional days to protect those around them.

Fauci also said local authorities like Dr. Ladapo should have the ability to make local recommendations, and he once again advised everyone to eat vaccinated and boosted, pointing out that about 95% of those who die from COVID are unvaccinated.

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