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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

Go deeper

Updated Oct 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin seeks to block Florida's penalties on school mask mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at the Lakeland, Florida, Police Department on Sept. 7. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Education filed a complaint Thursday urging an administrative judge to block Florida from withholding federal funds from two school districts for implementing mask mandates.

Driving the news: "The Florida Department of Education has unlawfully — and explicitly — reduced the amount of state aid provided to Florida school districts based on their receipt of federal funds," according to the complaint.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."