CNN medical analyst Jonathan Reiner called Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo “disgraceful” Wednesday for his recommendations on masks for children.
Ladapo said Monday that healthy kids ages 5-11 should not get the COVID-19 vaccine, citing a non-peer reviewed New York State Department of Health study showing Pfizer’s protection for children declined during the Omicron surge. His recommendation breaks with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommending that all kids ages 5 and older get vaccinated.
“Florida has a disgraceful surgeon general,” Reiner told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “What has become abundantly clear is that children do get this virus, thankfully most children will do fine with it. But the CDC says we’ve lost about 1,400 kids to the coronavirus and thousands and thousands of children have been hospitalized. That can almost entirely be prevented by vaccination.”
“The Surgeon General [of Florida] has been anti- mask, he’s been anti-vaxx, he’s been associated with the discredited America’s Frontline Physicians. It’s an embarrassment,” he continued.
He said the vaccine is “very effective” in preventing serious illness among children, but less so with rates of infection.
“Every child in this country should be vaccinated for coronavirus,” he said. (RELATED: Florida Surgeon General Claims Biden Admin Is ‘Actively Preventing’ Distribution Of COVID Treatments)
In the U.S., approximately 1,050 children have died from the virus as of Wednesday, according to the CDC. Over 12.7 million in total have tested positive, while making up 0.0%-0.1% of state deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported.
In the state of Florida, 42 children under the age of 16 died from the virus out of over 804,000 cases, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Ladapo is “peddling conspiracy theories” and vowed to continue following the guidance of the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“It’s deeply disturbing that there are politicians peddling conspiracy theories out there and casting doubts on vaccinations when it is our best tool against the virus and the best tool to prevent even teenagers from being hospitalized,” Psaki said.