Florida’s Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, changed language in a state-run study of COVID vaccines, suggesting that young men face a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases from mRNA treatments. Ladapo’s findings do not align with the greater medical community’s conclusions.

Ladapo, who rose to national prominence during the height of the pandemic by questioning vaccine studies in op-eds for The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, is facing backlash from other doctors. Ladapo’s findings are in direct conflict with the Centers for Disease Control.

The original document curated by Florida’s Department of Health stated that the vaccine had no significant health impact on young men. Politico obtained a copy titled “Dr. L’s Edits” through a public records request. The edits changed the language around men’s health impacts, suggesting a greater risk than other studies.

“Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18-39,” Ladapo concluded in the edited draft. “The risk associated with mRNA vaccination should be weighed against the risk associated with COVID-19 infection.”


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Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) appointed Ladapo to the job after his continued political support of anti-vaccination movements.

The edited document seems to part of a pattren of political moves in Florida to question the effectiveness of vaccines, including moratoriums on vaccine mandates.

“To say that I ‘removed an analysis’ for a particular outcome is an implicit denial of the fact that the public has been the recipient of biased data and interpretations since the beginning of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine campaign,” Ladapo said in a statement. “I have never been afraid of disagreement with peers or media.”

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