Florida Surgeon General’s Warning About COVID Vaccines Blocked Then Restored by Twitter
Florida Surgeon General’s Warning About COVID Vaccines Blocked Then Restored by Twitter

By Jack Phillips

Twitter blocked a post from Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo that promoted an analysis that asserts there were a high number of cardiac-related deaths among men who took an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The website restored the post hours later.

“Our current misleading information policies cover: synthetic and manipulated media, COVID-19, and civic integrity,” Twitter wrote in its post that had blocked Ladapo’s post. “If we determine a Tweet contains misleading or disputed information per our policies that could lead to harm, we may add a label to the content to provide context and additional information.”

But the company restored Ladapo’s tweet as of Sunday morning.

The post reads: “Today, we released an analysis on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines the public needs to be aware of. This analysis showed an increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39. FL will not be silent on the truth.” It also linked to guidance and a news release regarding the analysis.

What It Says

The analysis’s news release said that there is an 84 percent increase in the “relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males” between the ages of 18 and 29 within 28 days of getting the mRNA vaccine.

“With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19,” the release said, “the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed by this abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group.”

“As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” it said. “Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision.”

A COVID-19 vaccine is prepared in a file image. (Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)

“Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed—these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians,” Ladapo said in a statement, referring to the vaccine study.

The mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and from Moderna have both been linked with heart inflammation, including myocarditis and pericarditis, data from around the world have suggested. Younger populations, especially young men, have been observed to experience these conditions at much higher than expected rates, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously suggested. A number of deaths from heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination have also been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Mayo Clinic, and other institutions have said that mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are safe and frequently tell members of the public to receive them.

Criticism

Several members of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration criticized Twitter for blocking Ladapo’s post. The Republican governor, who has not issued a comment on the matter, appointed Ladapo to become his surgeon general in 2021.

“Twitter has not explained WHY the study findings constitute ‘misinformation’ nor proven them wrong,” wrote DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw on Twitter this weekend.

“This is an unacceptable and Orwellian move for narrative over fact,” Bryan Griffin, the governor’s press secretary, wrote on Twitter. In a follow-up tweet later Sunday after Twitter restored the post, he thanked people for bringing attention to it.

Since the start of the pandemic, DeSantis has consistently rejected the implementation of COVID-19 rules, including vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, masking in schools, and COVID-19 policies for cruise ships departing Florida ports.

After his Twitter post was restored, Ladapo commented on the incident Monday morning.

“I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated. Isn’t it great when we discuss science transparently instead of trying to cancel one another? I’m going to respond to the more substantive critiques,” he wrote.

Twitter has not responded to a request for comment.

Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.

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