Maybe the substackers who are fixated on “woke” student council edicts can spare a moment to condemn the state of Florida for silencing a public health official for discussing…public health. During a pandemic.
Dr. Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health’s Orange County organization, was placed on administrative leave for sending an email urging the agency’s employees to improve their vaccination rate. Orlando’s ABC affiliate, WFTV:
(Dr. Pino) wrote that he had an analyst run vaccination data for employees, and that out of the 568 active staff at the department, only 77 had received a COVID-19 booster, 219 had two doses of the vaccine and 34 had only one dose.
“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated,” Pino wrote. “We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50%, pathetic.”
“I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it,” he added.
The good doctor is correct; that is a pathetic vaccination rate, especially among a group of public health agency employees. But note that Pino didn’t threaten to place anyone on leave or fire them over it. The state did that, as confirmed by the NYT:
Jeremy T. Redfern, the press secretary for the Department of Health, confirmed in a statement that Dr. Pino was on administrative leave, and that the department was “conducting an inquiry to determine if any laws were broken in this case.”
The decision to get vaccinated “is a personal medical choice that should be made free from coercion and mandates from employers,” Mr. Redfern wrote.
This isn’t a case of people on campus tragically having to “self-censor” to avoid criticism about their weird theories on race or gender or whatever. Dr. Pino, who fled his native Cuba for more freedom in the United States, has been muzzled by Governor Ron DeSantis and his minions. This is the state suspending a doctor’s career because of speech that reflects the medical consensus but is at odds with the governor’s and crackpot surgeon general’s politically motivated, anti-science demagoguery.
I’ll be over here waiting for the anti-woke chicken littles to defend Dr. Pino. I’ll bring a very large cup of coffee and a few crossword puzzles to pass the time.