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A State Health Department Leader Who Puts Freedom First – OpEd

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Over the last year and a half, many state health department leaders across America have been leading the charge against freedom. In the name of countering coronavirus, they have been demanding that businesses, churches, and community organizations shut down, and that people stay in their homes, wear masks, “social distance,” and take experimental coronavirus “vaccines.” Those demands and more make up the coronavirus crackdowns that these tyrannical bureaucrats have been pushing on Americans.

In sharp contrast with this mob of tyrannical bureaucrats, on Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refreshingly appointed Joseph Ladapo to be the leader of the state’s health department. The new state surgeon general, in his comments at the Tuesday appointment announcement event, spoke boldly in favor of freedom and against using health fearmongering, including the overstating of dangers from coronavirus, as an excuse to violate individual rights.

In laying out his general approach as Florida surgeon general, Ladapo started with a statement about rejecting fear as a guide for public health policy. Ladapo stated:

I talked to the governor, and there are a few things that we’re gonna keep in mind as we approach public health here in the state of Florida. So, the first is that Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health. So, we’re done with fear. That’s 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.

In the question-and-answer period with reporters that followed, Ladapo several times stressed his support for ensuring that his actions as surgeon general do not infringe on people’s freedom. First off in the Q&A, Ladapo clearly stated his support for freedom in the realm of health decisions, declaring, “this idea that, you know, people don’t get to make their own decisions, you know, on issues of health related to their own personal health is wrong, and it’s not something that we’re going to be about.”

Asked about his signing of the Great Barrington Declaration, Ladapo stated, “the spirit of what they believe — that we need to respect human rights, that, you know, people do have autonomy over their lives, and it’s not OK to — it’s not even not OK but it’s not virtuous and it’s not right — to just sort of take away those rights from individuals, I completely agree with that; that’s why I signed it.”

Regarding experimental coronavirus “vaccines” that many governments are pressuring people to receive, Ladapo stated bluntly, “vaccines are up to the person.” Continuing, he said:

There’s nothing special about them compared to any other preventive measure. So, absolutely, great things about vaccines for covid-19 — prevent the risk of serious illness, fantastic. People get to make a choice about what they want to do with that.

Seemingly aware of the potential that someone in support of freedom and against fearmongering being the leader of the Florida state government’s health department can have influence far beyond Florida’s borders, Ladapo said early on in his comments that, in working on “public health” matters in Florida, he will “frankly hopefully set an example for other states around the country and maybe even further than that.”

While the Florida government has taken action against using coronavirus fear as a reason to stomp on freedom in the state, there are still many coronavirus tyrants in America, from the United States president and US Congress members to state governors and legislators to county, city, and school board politicians. And coronavirus crackdowns continue to rage across the continents.

Ladapo’s example of a freedom-respecting and fearmongering-rejecting health department leader can go a long way to educate people about how to better deal with health issues. His example can also demonstrate that there is a viable course of action for people in similar positions that does not depend on inducing panic and employing force.

Watch here Ladapo comments upon his appointment to be Florida surgeon general:


This article was published by RonPaul Institute

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Adam Dick

Adam Dick is a Senior Fellow at Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

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