The Florida Department of Health will recommend against vaccinating healthy kids against COVID, the state’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced on Monday. Florida will officially be the first state to defy guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says all children ages 5 to 7 should be vaccinated.
Ladapo announced the move at an event held by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called, “The Curtain Close on Covid Theater.” The name of the panel seemed to reference an event last week where DeSantis told several high school students standing behind him during a press conference they didn’t need to wear masks anymore or be forced to participate in what he described as “COVID theater.”
During a roundtable on Monday with world-renowned physicians and epidemiologists who gathered to discuss the failures of COVID lockdowns and mandates, DeSantis said he’s concerned about the increased signals for myocarditis.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and death. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, myocarditis can result from infections, but “more commonly the myocarditis is a result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.”
DeSantis recognized one of the studies used to justify the approval of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children showed no deaths in the vaccine group but said the study also showed zero deaths in the placebo group, which does not justify recommending COVID vaccines for children.
DeSantis said the CDC has failed to follow the science throughout the entire pandemic, frequently changing its guidance based on politics, not scientific data. Although the older age group is at a higher risk of COVID — and an increased risk of severe of hospitalization or death — the younger age group is not, DeSantis said.
“In Florida, we told the truth, we let the data drive our response, and we let Floridians make decisions for themselves and their children,” DeSantis said. “We are not just going to follow the CDC in the state of Florida. We’re going to do our own stuff.”
Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology used in Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID vaccines, during the roundtable said there’s “no justification for mandating vaccines for children, full stop.”
“We’re of the strong opinion that if there is risk, there must be choice. As far as we’re concerned, there is no medical emergency now, and there is therefore no justification for the declaration of medical emergency and the suspension of rights that has occurred with that reupping of the medical emergency by the executive branch.
“Another thing that the state of Florida has led on that we are very grateful for is enabling physicians [and providing] the latitude to provide early treatment to patients. We have really tried to advocate for the ability of physicians to just practice medicine.”
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida has continued to stay ahead of the federal government by following sound science — not coercion,” said Ladapo.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki chastized Ladapo’s announcement.
Psaki said it was deeply disturbing there are politicians peddling what she referred to as “conspiracy theories” and “casting doubt on vaccinations when it is our best tool against the virus.”
Asked whether it was a sound policy, Psaki responded, “Absolutely not. We know the science. We know the data and what works and what the most effective steps are in protecting people of a range of ages from hospitalization and even death.”
The CDC began recommending Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children late last year. Since then, about 22 million children have become fully vaccinated, including 1.1 million children in Florida.
The nation’s “experts,” with ties to pharmaceutical companies were quick to chastise DeSantis and Ladapo.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, creator of the rotavirus vaccine, member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel and recipient of millions from Merck, said Ladapo’s statement is “wholly irresponsible and completely unsupported.”
“Although it is true that children are less likely to be infected and it is true that children are less likely to be severely infected, they can still be infected, and they can still be severely infected,” Offit told CNN.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the division of infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with ties to Pfizer and the CDC, told CNN he is “disappointed and actually concerned” by Florida’s newly adopted stance.
“I would continue to make it to all parents of children 5 and older,” Schaffner said. “The benefits clearly outweigh the risks, and they provide us a firmer foundation for the control of COVID going forward.”
The problem? These “experts” refuse to acknowledge the risks of COVID vaccines and the reality that even if COVID vaccines actually prevented moderate to severe COVID, children are not at risk and any protection provided would be temporary a best or entirely non-existent for those children with natural immunity.
Ladapo did not say when the new guidance would become official and provided few additional details, but DeSantis reiterated the state will be following the science, even if the science does not align with the agenda of the CDC.