Oct 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Florida surgeon general says he can't talk "clearly" with mask, doesn't apologize

Joseph Ladapo.

Joseph Ladapo. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said Tuesday that he "would never knowingly be disrespectful" regarding his failed meeting with state Sen. Tina Polsky — but he didn't apologize.

Driving the news: Ladapo’s remarks come almost a week after he attempted to meet with Polsky concerning his upcoming Senate confirmation hearing. Polsky ultimately sent Ladapo and two of his aides away for refusing to wear a mask, according to Florida Politics.

  • Polsky told Ladapo that she had a serious condition. Ladapo offered to talk outside, which Polsky rebuffed, saying she would prefer to chat in her office, Axios' Ivana Saric writes.
  • Ladapo, a doctor, reiterated that he "stated multiple times that she had every right to implement any safety protocols she wanted in her office."

What they're saying: "I attempted in good faith to find some way for us to communicate that would respect each of our preferences," Ladapo said in a statement.

  • "Having a conversation with someone while wearing a mask is not something I find productive, especially when other options exist," he added.
  • "It is important to me to communicate clearly and effectively with people. I can't do that when half of my face is covered."

Go deeper: Florida surgeon general kicked out of meeting with lawmaker for refusing to wear a mask

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