MIAMI (WSVN) - Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo made some controversial comments about coronavirus testing during a media conference on Monday.
The comments are leading to disagreements among health officials and local leaders.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., didn’t hold back on her thoughts about Ladapo.
“The governor hired a quack who doesn’t believe in science to be the surgeon general of the state, whose colleagues overwhelmingly disagree with him,” she said.
Her reaction comes after his comment about testing.
“We are going to be working to unwind the sort of testing psychology that our federal leadership has managed to, unfortunately, get most of the country in,” he said.
Ladapo talked about cutting back on testing and stated Florida would shift focus to testing high-value patients.
“High-value testing is testing that is likely to change outcomes, right? So if your grandmother gets a test, that’s a much more valuable test than the 8-year-old third graders that Los Angeles County is sending in to get weekly testing,” he said.
But health experts emphasize the importance of testing to detect the virus and stop the spread.
“People who are asymptomatic can also test positive, so limiting testing to just those who are symptomatic is not entirely consistent with the science that we’ve learned over the last several months,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
“Some percentage of those individuals will get severely ill. They’ll continue to spread it to individuals who are more sensitive to severe disease,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University. “You’ll have more possibility of forming worse variants.”
“I trust the health professionals who follow the science, and the science says that testing is an important component of our public health approach to defeating COVID,” said Wasserman Schultz.
The White House also responded saying testing continues to be a key pillar in detecting the virus and stopping the spread.
They added leaders should be uniting around it, not undermining it.
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