Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the controversial Florida State Surgeon General, commented on the omicron variant this week, arguing that COVID-19 testing should be prioritized among the most vulnerable. With high wait times, a number of Floridians are taking at-home COVID tests, but Ladapo believes that the effort to get residents tested is due to a “testing psychology” from federal health authorities.
During a press conference alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), the state’s top health official explained that the Florida Department of Health would be developing its own guidelines on the people that should be getting tested.
Ladapo informed that his “department’s goal is going to be to put out testing that doesn’t restrict access to testing, but reduces the use of low-value testing and prioritizes high-value testing.”
He defined that “high-value testing is testing that is likely to change outcomes. So if your grandmother gets a test, that’s a much more valuable test than the eight-year-old third graders Los Angeles County is sending in to get weekly testing, right?”
Arguing that the former “is much more likely to change outcomes,” he noted that the Department of Health is committing “to unwind the testing psychology that our federal leadership has managed to, unfortunately, get most of the country in over the last two years.”
The comments come after Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) shared similar comments, saying that “the real crisis is the irrational hysteria” surrounding the pandemic.
Ladapo called this a “time for people to be living,” adding that this is also a time for people “to make the decisions they want regarding vaccination and to enjoy the fact that many people have natural immunity and to unwind this preoccupation with only COVID as determining the boundaries and constraints and possibilities of life.”