By Dr. Stephen J. Playe
Since I graduated from medical school, a combination of factors has made the old saying “Trust me, I’m a doctor” more of a punch line than a reassurance. Too bad, because now, more than ever, we need somebody to trust. Take the question of Covid vaccination. You might want to trust Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor DeSantis’ appointee as Florida’s surgeon general. Dr. Ladapo has just announced that Florida will be “the first state to officially recommend against the Covid-19 vaccine for healthy children.”
I, for one, don’t trust him. I trust many virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists, vaccinologists, and infectious disease specialists. He is none of these. There is another reason I don’t trust him: I question his motives.
His career aspirations ride on the success of DeSantis. He remains in obedient lock-step with the governor, whose shameless pursuit of political gain has taken him from vaccine advocate in early 2021 to a histrionic vaccine opponent now, and who made national news by angrily, and wrongly, telling high school students that masks “don’t work.”
At his confirmation hearing, Dr. Ladapo refused to say if he was vaccinated. What doctor does that? He refused to wear a mask when State Sen. Tina Polsky (who was about to start radiation therapy for cancer) requested he do so for their meeting. What doctor does that? I’ll tell you: a doctor who has forsaken his sacred Hippocratic Oath to put the welfare of others ahead of his own interests. His new pledge, apparently, is to the ambitious, opportunist governor of our state. As surgeon general Dr. Ladapo arguably has all the citizens of our state as his patients. This scares me.
There is room for informed discussion about the cost benefit ratio of Covid vaccination in younger age groups. What’s the benefit? There is admittedly less benefit for children because they tend to have less severe disease. But tens of thousands of U.S. children have been so sick with Covid that they were hospitalized, and we have sadly just hit the 1,000th pediatric death in the U.S. Most of these very ill children had comorbidities (including things as common as obesity) but many were otherwise healthy.
Each day that goes by we learn more about the long-term damage Covid can cause to the heart, brain, and kidneys, even after mild cases. And the vaccines do work very well to reduce illness, severity, and mortality. What is the cost of vaccinating kids? Not much. No out-of-pocket expense, minor side effects and no vaccine-related deaths reported after tens of millions of pediatric vaccinations. So, I recommend vaccinations for my grandchildren. Easy decision.
But you don’t have to trust me. I’m a retired ER doc you have never met. But you can trust my doctor. I trust her especially since she recently saved my life. She is young, smart as could be, an infectious disease specialist, and perhaps most importantly, the mother of young twin girls. I asked her what she thought about vaccinating her twins and she said: “When vaccines are available for their age group, we will be the first in line. I’ll hold one down and my husband will hold down the other.”
So, my doctor and I both promote the vaccine for our kids and grandkids. Why? Because we love them. And you can trust us. We’re doctors.
Stephen Playe, M.D., lives in the Hammock.
Enlarged hearts are just a minor side effect?
Thank you Doctor Stephen! People like Ladapo, DUH-Santis and many others (#45) have spread medical falsehoods since the start of this pandemic. How many deaths and long-term effects caused, by Covid-19, could have been avoided for our fellow citizens if these charlatans would step aside.
Pat Fields says
There’s nothing irresponsible about it, go look at the real data. Besides, now that Putin invaded Ukraine, COVID is a thing of the past.
Dr Lapdog is a heal Hound to his Master DUHSantis. Political ambitions? You bet. Not getting My Vote. Hypocrits you betcha. Rondon wouldn’t know a good Idea lest it hit em upside the head. Unless of course, If there’s a way to get Votes then it’s no holds barred say do anything to appease the Base. If these are the types of People, We the Voters have to choose from We are in trouble. Lastly his muted response at the beginning of the C19 event which was the most crucial time to potentially stop or curtail the spread In my Opinion failed terribly, and many died because of it. Don’t ever forget what He did and didn’t do. Vote Accordingly.
Well put Steve!
I wouldn’t trust any doctor that only says what a lying politician tells them to say. Lets not forget trump did they same thing when he was trying to get everyone not to trust dr. Fauci. Now the want to be president is doing the same out of trumps playbook to a tee. If donald did it deathsantis will be doing it also. He thinks that is what will get him elected. Someone must have forgotten to tell him trump lost the last election.
Robert S. Fawcett, MD, MSed says
Great advice, Doctor Playe! I TRUST YOU!!!
Michael Cocchiola says
This is utter madness on the parts of DeSantis and Ladapo. It is criminally irresponsible. If COVID vaccines are unnecessary in healthy children, then why get polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox or any other routine vaccination. After all, the child is healthy… until they are not.
There should be a vaccine to protect the world from Floriduh’s insanity.
Jack Howell says
This guy is sooooo wrong on sooooo many accounts. I wonder where he got his medical training. What an idiot!
You say that Dr. Playe is wrong and that he is an idiot. If he is wrong please tell us how. Just saying that he is wrong doesn’t mean anything.
Pierre Tristam says
Knowing Jack, I’m pretty sure he was referring to frontier Dr. Ladapo, not to actual Dr. Playe.
Hi Pierre, good to hear from you. I Still wish that Jack would share with us why he thinks the post is wring..
Jack Howell says
Hank, do your research. I’m not going to give you the answer. I will ask you this. If God forbid, you had emergency surgery say for a bypass would you want the surgical team to wear face masks? You know the governor says they are not effective and his Dr. Ladapo believes this as well.
Doctors right! says
1 The vaccine does not prevent you from getting Covid I have had it twice since I had the vaccine, so all I did was spread it to others that had the vaccine or not.
2 i would say alot of kids have had it including all three of mine and guess who gave it to them, hmmm me. all of them did fine.
3 there is not enough research that shows what the benefit is to vaccine a healthy child. There has been over 1200 recorded side effects that children have had since having the vaccine including death. So why in the world would anyone that can make choices on there own choice to have their healthy child vaccinated. The doctor didn’t say every child shouldn’t be vaccinated just healthy shouldnt until more research has been done.
But like always i dont expect you to post my opinion because it goes against what you think you never do.
Great writing, Steve. Honored to know you.
This is no Surgeon General. This is a bat s*** crazy political hack.
DeathSantis now has DeathDoctor working to spread lies for him. DeathSantis thinks that will give him brownie points to get elected Governor or President. The Doctor is lying for DeathSantis and should have his medical license taken away from him. How can he live with himself knowing he is lying for someone and it could cost a person their life.
The Doctor is prostituting himself for a corrupt governor that only cares about himself like his idol Trump. He is doing everything out of Trumps playbook and it is disgusting.
David Schaefer says
Agree 100%. Are you sure he was not Trumpees doc in the White House oh wait a minute he is black and Trump hates everyone but white people. That so called Dr needs to go back and play the game operation because that’s all he is good for….
I agree there were time Trump should have kept his mouth shut, but look at the facts of what the economy was, the unemployment was the gas prices were, etc. Compared to now with this puppet and the direction the country is going is, we’re screwed. How about we divide the country into four quarters. NE,SW,NE & SE. Pick whichever two quarters you want to be left and the other two will be right and let them have their own government. Then maybe after having that for 5 yrs. or so the left people will get their heads out the sand. But don’t even think about getting help from the right or coming across the quarter lines.
New research on Trump voters: They’re not the sharpest tools in the box
Just wondering WHY do so many people put such faith into politicians? They are proven liars, corrupt and make promises they never intend to keep. Has society gotten completely dumbified that they entrust anyone in political positions such as a Governor or any other elected official with their medical choices and decisions? Why would you entrust someone with a medical decision that has never once met you(or your child), doesnt know you (your child) or your (or your child) medical history rather than entrusting your ACTUAL Dr?? Stop listening to the asshats in the news, social media etc, do your own research, speak with your actual Dr, inquire with your own Dr about the facts and make your own decisions that you feel comfortable with. Do yall really think DeathSantis and Lapdog give 2 shits about you? When have either ever attended anything in your immediate life? A funeral of a loved one? A birth of a loved one? A graduation? When have they paid anything in your household like actually paid your electric, your rent, mortgage, car note, ins and so on without any expectation just because they care? Never, not once, they care about themselves and lining their own pockets plain and simple. Politicians get rich sitting in office pretending to care about people. Greed is the root of all evil and politicians are the greediest so stop entrusting them with anything of importance in your life.
Deathsantis wants the very best medical treatment for his own wife who is battling cancer, but has no such concerns about every other Floridian’s own children and family members health and wellbeing. His purely politically driven motive to hire the fool who now holds the title of Florida Surgeon General was most assuredly made only because the fool also ascribes to Deathsantis’ own aversion to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Even if it were true that healthy children will never become sick if infected with the Coronavirus, which evidence has shown is NOT true due to the overwhelming medical evidence that shoots down the idiot gov’s dangerous and politically driven ideology, unvaccinated children, or ANYONE unvaccinated at this point in the pandemic, are primarily who are the carriers responsible for the continuing spread of the virus to others. And many of the others who are already or could potentially be infected have ongoing medical issues such as their elderly grandparents, or people they could come into contact with who are already immune compromised and who are the ones that qualified and experienced medical professionals worry could face serious consequences including hospitalization and possibly death from the virus. So this absurd posturing and blabbering by the gov and his fool who is supposed to be “doing no harm” while practicing medicine are both doing MUCH HARM to every Floridian who listens to their nonsense. We need to get rid of Deathsantis and all of his moronic minions because he and his Republican legislature and appointees are passing legislation and making critical decisions which are KILLING people in this state to prop up their own political stature and radical viewpoints that have no scientific or medical value!
G A says
DeSantis has a new vocation, ventrillaquist. If you look closely you’ll see Ron’s hand up the back of the doctor’s coat as he operates his mouth moving and puts his words into that dummy’s mouth. Yup. And anyone who believes the dummy or the dummy’s master? Guess what that makes YOU.
G.A. totally agree with you. DeathSantis is telling this patsy what to say and the Doctor is ruining his career if he has one or ever will again because he thinks it is great for him personally not realize he is being used by DeathSantis. Trump used everyone around him and DeathSantis is doing the same. The new name for this Florida lying Dr. is SUCKER.
Did any of you bother to look up the resume of Dr.Ladapo? Or are all of you convinced that “Flipflop” Fauci is the ultimate authority ?
Why are you framing it as just a simple difference of opinion between Ladapo on the one hand, and Fauci on the other? Do you not comprehend that the overwhelming evidence from medical research and almost the entire medical profession supports the data showing vaccinations prevent serious complications/hospitalization/deaths from coronavirus? It’s only the fringe wackos like Ladapo and some others of his ilk who are promoting this nonsensical and dangerous suggestion to parents about NOT protecting their children, which in turn puts others including immune compromised and the elderly who come in close contact with these unvaccinated kids in serious jeopardy of becoming infected and having a very bad outcome. Who would consciously do that??? Only idiots! It makes no difference what the fool Ladapo’s resume shows if he is not living up to the hypocratic oath of “DO NO HARM”.