First off, I just want to say that vaccines are a personal decision and that people that have had bad reactions in the past have good reason to be tentative about vaccines. Trying to force people to vaccinate is unwise and counterproductive. It is not the best way to increase vaccine adoption. But after reading Newsweek’s coverage of the latest vaccine scare tactics from Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, I just had to poke a little fun at the craziness of this little corner of conspiracy theory land. I hope you will get a laugh. We could all use some laughter.
As a premise, as Newsweek reported, Dr. Ladapo has decided to demand answers from the FDA and CDC to address his concerns that Covid-19 mRNA vaccines could cause cancer. The FDA and CDC had already rebuked him in March of 2023 over his vaccine advice, which the federal agencies said, "led to unnecessary death, severe illness and hospitalization," especially among Florida's population.
I thought, oh no, here we go again. Now he is drumming up a cancer scare that is nonsensical if you know the science but frightening to people that have been bombarded by false information about Covid-19 vaccines and vaccines in general. What next? So, I thought I would query my digital friend ChatGPT to predict the next article about Dr. Ladapo’s anti-science antics. I believe it captures the authenticity of his current foray into “health” science. Here goes:
Title: "Florida Health Chief Proposes Revolutionary 'Vaccine Whispering' Technique: Just Ask the Virus Politely to Go Away"
In a stunning breakthrough, Florida's Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, has unveiled his revolutionary approach to handling the COVID-19 pandemic – a technique so cutting-edge that even the virus is reportedly scratching its metaphorical head in confusion. Move over, science; make way for the untested and unvaccinated, because Ladapo's latest plan involves what he calls "vaccine whispering."
In a press conference that left journalists equally baffled and amused, Ladapo detailed his unique strategy. "We've been approaching this all wrong," he declared, sporting a monocle and a top hat, as if about to reveal a magic trick. "Instead of relying on the so-called 'vaccines,' why not just politely ask the virus to leave? I mean, it's worth a shot, isn't it?"
Ladapo explained that the state of Florida is set to embark on an ambitious public relations campaign encouraging citizens to engage in one-on-one conversations with the virus, politely requesting it to vacate their bodies. The campaign includes catchy slogans such as "COVID, please consider leaving," and "Hey, virus, mind finding another host?"
The Surgeon General, known for his unconventional views on public health, has rejected the mainstream scientific consensus in favor of what he describes as a more "personable" approach. "We believe in fostering a positive relationship with the virus," Ladapo remarked, gesturing toward a PowerPoint slide featuring a smiling emoji wearing a surgical mask. "Maybe it's just misunderstood. Maybe it just needs a friend."
Critics argue that this approach is not only unscientific but potentially dangerous. Dr. Sandra Logica, a renowned infectious disease expert, expressed her concerns, saying, "I'm not sure viruses respond to polite requests. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. This seems like a bizarre attempt to replace proven methods with something out of a Disney movie."
Undeterred, Ladapo emphasized the importance of choice in his plan. "We're all about personal freedom here in Florida. If you want to trust in the power of words over vaccines, who are we to stop you?"
As the nation watches Florida embark on this unprecedented experiment, the rest of the world is left wondering if Ladapo's vaccine whispering will be the magic bullet or just another footnote in the annals of peculiar pandemic responses. After all, who needs science when you've got charm?