Nigeria-born Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has been accused of personally altering a COVID-19 vaccines study so it’d align closer to the dangerous anti-vax messages that brought him to his current position.
According to a document released as part of a public records request, Ladapo removed part of the study to make it appear as though mRNA vaccines posed a higher risk of cardiac issues in young men than what had previously been determined by the medical community.
The study raised eyebrows at the time, and researchers involved in it called out Ladapo for the false edit—exposing his sneaky switch in the document titled “Dr. L’s edits.”
Matt Hitchings, one of the researchers involved, said about Ladapo’s edits, “I think it’s a lie,” “To say this—based on what we’ve seen, and how this analysis was made—it’s a lie.”
Ladapo denied altering the study with ill-intent, telling Politico that making revisions and refinements to a medical study is standard practice.
Ladapo’s changes, released as part of a public records request, presented the risks of cardiac death to be more severe than previous versions of the study. He later used the final document in October to bolster disputed claims that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were dangerous to young men.
The surgeon general, a well-known Covid-19 vaccine sceptic, faced a backlash from the medical community after he made the assertions, which go against guidance from the Centres for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics. However, Ladapo’s statements aligned well with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stance against mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.
The newly released draft of the eight-page study, provided by the Florida Department of Health, indicates that it initially stated that there was no significant risk associated with the Covid-19 vaccines for young men. But “Dr. L’s Edits,” as the document is titled, reveal that Ladapo replaced that language to say that men between 18 and 39 years old are at high risk of heart illness from two Covid vaccines that use mRNA technology.