The New Surgeon General of Ron DeSantis Appeared in the COVID Conspiracy Video of the “Demon Sperm” Doctor.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who was named Florida’s next surgeon general by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, was originally featured in a COVID-19 conspiracy film starring Dr. Stella Immanuel. Immanuel, a doctor and religious pastor, rose to prominence in 2020 for her strange views, including that endometriosis and ovarian cysts are caused by “demonic seed.”
As part of a group named America’s Frontline Doctors, Ladapo starred in a 43-minute viral video in July 2020. According to Rolling Stone at the time, none of the doctors in the film were epidemiologists or immunologists who were most suited to speak on infectious diseases. The Tea Party Patriots, a right-wing group financed by affluent Republican donors, planned the doctors’ recorded speech.
Even though studies haven’t backed up the idea that hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for COVID-19, the movie presented it as such. Masks do not slow the virus’ spread, according to the video, although COVID-19 is less lethal than the flu. Both of these assertions are false.
When then-President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., and other right-wing media leaders posted the film on social media, it gained millions of views. The video was taken down by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for breaking their regulations on spreading COVID-19 falsehoods.
Dr. Stella Immanuel, one of the video’s key presenters, is a physician who runs a medical clinic next to her church, Firepower Ministries, in a Texas strip mall. In the video, she refers to hydroxychloroquine as a “treatment” and claims that “you don’t need a mask” to stop the virus from spreading.
Ovarian cysts and endometriosis, according to Immanuel, are caused by “demonic seed.” Immanuel claimed in posts on her church’s website that demons implant sperm into sleeping people when they have intercourse in their dreams.
Ivermectin, an anti-parasite medicine, has also been advertised by Ladapo as a treatment for COVID-19 symptoms. Ivermectin is not recommended as a COVID-19 treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Ladapo signed the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020, which advocated for societal herd immunity to COVID-19 to be developed through natural infection.
The proclamation declared, “The most humanitarian approach…is to let people who are at lowest risk of mortality to live their lives normally in order to build up antibodies to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at greatest risk.”
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