NATIONAL NEWS

Report: Florida officials cut key data from vaccine study

Apr 8, 2023, 8:00 AM

FILE - Dr. Joseph Ladapo speaks with reporters after the Florida Senate confirmed his appointment a...

FILE - Dr. Joseph Ladapo speaks with reporters after the Florida Senate confirmed his appointment as the state's surgeon general on Feb. 23, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. An analysis that was the basis of a highly criticized recommendation from Florida’s surgeon general cautioning young men against getting the COVID-19 vaccine omitted information that showed catching the virus could increase the risk of a cardiac-related death much more than getting the shot. That's according to drafts of the analysis obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Brendan Farrington, File)

An analysis that was the basis of a highly criticized recommendation from Florida’s surgeon general cautioning young men against getting the COVID-19 vaccine omitted information that showed catching the virus could increase the risk of a cardiac-related death much more than getting the mRNA shot, according to drafts of the analysis obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

The nonbinding recommendation made by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo last fall ran counter to the advice provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ladapo, a Harvard-trained medical doctor who was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 to head the Florida Department of Health, has drawn intense scrutiny over his shared resistance with the Republican governor to COVID-19 mandates for vaccines and masks and other health policies endorsed by the federal government.

The Department of Health on Saturday didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

The early drafts of the analysis obtained by the Times through a records request showed that catching COVID-19 could increase the chances of a cardiac-related death much more than getting the vaccine, but that information was missing from the final version put out by the Florida Department of Health last October.

Ladapo said that the risk of men ages 18 to 39 having cardiac complications outweighed the benefits of getting the mRNA vaccine.

Matt Hitchings, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, told the Times that it seems that sections of the analysis were omitted because they did not fit the narrative the surgeon general wanted to push.

“This is a grave violation of research integrity,” Hitchings said. “(The vaccine) has done a lot to advance the health of people of Florida and he’s encouraging people to mistrust it.”

Last year, Ladapo all kids should get the shots. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Florida chapter issued written statements reiterating support for vaccinating eligible children age 5 and older against COVID-19.

DeSantis, who is contemplating a run for the GOP presidential nomination, also has requested that a grand jury be convened to investigate any wrongdoing with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines. DeSantis’ request argues that pharmaceutical companies had a financial interest in creating a climate in which people believed that getting a coronavirus vaccine would ensure they couldn’t spread the virus to others.

The Florida Supreme Court agreed to the request last December.

National News

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at claims made at the Republican National Convention as Trump accepts nomination

As former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday he laid out his vision for running the country. He painted a dire picture of the state of the U.S. and outlined a range of actions he planned to take. But his comments were marked with a myriad of false and misleading information […]

4 hours ago

Dr. Max Rogers, the obstetrician-gynecologist at Grove Hill Memorial Hospital, poses for a photo Mo...

Associated Press

Alabama birthing units are closing to save money and get funding. Some say babies are at risk

GROVE HILL, Ala. (AP) — One of the last remaining birthing units in southern Alabama will close next month to qualify for federal funding that will save the hospital’s emergency services, but doctors warn the move may cost newborns and pregnant women essential access to obstetric care. Nestled in rural Clarke County, the small, nonprofit […]

5 hours ago

Jim, left, and Tamara Hamilton watch former President Donald Trump speak on television on Thursday,...

Associated Press

Some GOP voters welcome Trump’s somewhat softened tone at Republican National Convention

For those conservative voters long turned off by former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, his somewhat softened tone in accepting the Republican nomination Thursday night was a welcome relief. “He’s much improved,” Dave Struthers, a 57-year-old farmer from Collins, Iowa, said as he watched Trump’s speech in the basement of his farmhouse. “The thing I’ve had […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks in Athens, Greece, June 21, 2023. Democrats at the high...

Associated Press

Obama’s dilemma: Balancing Democrats’ worry about Biden and maintaining influence with president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has a delicate balance to strike: how to weigh the mounting opposition to President Joe Biden continuing his campaign with his loyalty to his former running mate. In recent days, Obama has taken calls from congressional leaders, Democratic governors and key donors in which he has shared their […]

6 hours ago

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives for an Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Town Hall, Sat...

Associated Press

Majority of Democrats think Kamala Harris would make a good president, AP-NORC poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden faces a growing drumbeat of pressure to drop his reelection bid, a majority of Democrats think his vice president would make a good president herself. A new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Democrats believe Kamala Harris would do […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

How bootcamps are helping to address the historic gap in internet access on US tribal lands

There’s a home movie theater with orange walls and plush recliners at the top of a steep hill on Matthew Rantanen’s ranch in Southern California. But on a recent afternoon, people weren’t flocking to the room to watch a movie or to escape the scorching heat, they were shining a beam of light through more […]

6 hours ago

Report: Florida officials cut key data from vaccine study