With a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine, Florida is rationing distribution of inoculations as the number of new cases in the state have nearly doubled since last week, with 985 cases reported in the last week versus 525 the previous week, Politico reports, just one week after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis claimed that monkeypox was no big deal and it was just another way the federal government was trying to keep people scared, a sentiment he made about the coronavirus vaccine as well. Florida is home to about 10% of all monkeypox cases in the US.
A coronavirus vaccine denier, Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo apparently has no qualms about the monkeypox vaccine. Unlike with the vaccines for coronavirus, which Ladapo decried while promoting disproven treatments like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, he is now ordering 72,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, Ladapo had lambasted DHHS efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and decried efforts to get people vaccinated as an action of a police state.
Ladapo’s reputation was questionable when he was appointed to be Florida’s Surgeon General. The Nigerian native said that he treated many Covid patients while working at the flagship hospital of the UCLA health system in Los Angeles, but the hospital has no record of him being on the record of treating any coronavirus patients.
While the number of cases of monkeypox increases steadily in the United States, there have been no fatalities attributed to the disease because of effective treatments for those people infected.
Florida Department of Health spokesman Jeremy Redfern noted that the monkeypox virus is a “low risk” to the public before adding, “That being said, due to the lack of monkeypox vaccines from the federal government, we are expecting infections to increase. Monkeypox is proving to be extremely painful for those infected, but the fatality rate remains at zero in the US.”