White House press sec. Jen Psaki said Monday that Florida’s surgeon general is a politician “peddling conspiracy theories” after the state announced it would not recommend healthy children get the coronavirus vaccine.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said healthy kids need not get the coronavirus vaccine, citing a non-peer reviewed New York State Department of Health study that showed Pfizer’s vaccine protection for preventing hospitalization in kids between 5 and 11 drastically declined during the Omicron surge. The study also found the vaccine’s efficacy for preventing infection dropped from 68% to 12%.
Psaki was asked by a reporter Monday whether the announcement was “a good policy.” (RELATED: CDC Says Natural Immunity Outperformed Vaccines Against Delta Strain)
“Absolutely not,” Psaki said. “Let me just note that we know the science, we know the data and what works and what the most effective steps are in protecting people of a range of ages from hospitalization and even death. The FDA and the CDC have already weighed in on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for those 5 and older.”
REPORTER: “The Florida Surgeon General says that healthy children shouldn’t get the COVD vaccine. Is that a good policy?”
PSAKI: “Absolutely not…It’s deeply disturbing that there are politicians peddling conspiracy theories out there and casting doubt on vaccinations…” pic.twitter.com/kDJY1p5yGL
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 7, 2022
“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,” she continued.
Florida became the first state to officially advise the opposite of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. The CDC advises children 5 and older receive the coronavirus vaccine.
Of the more than 804,000 Floridian children under the age of 16 who have had the coronavirus, 42 have died, the Tampa Bay Times reported, citing state data.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, issued a statement similar to Psaki’s, calling Ladapo’s remarks “dangerous COVID-19 misinformation,” according to WPTV.
“I urge all Floridians to continue to follow the COVID-19 guidance provided by their doctors, in addition to the FDA and the CDC, and not the anti-science conspiracy theories DeSantis and Ladapo are pushing,” Fried said in a statement, the outlet reported.