Florida doctor booted from board after claiming state ‘obstructing’ access to under-5 Covid vaccine

The clearest delineation drawn during the COVID pandemic was between those supporting a right to make their own decisions understanding the risk and those who expected everyone to follow a one-size-fits-all policy regardless of effectiveness.

The latter’s seems to have an aversion to taking personal responsibility and this was demonstrated by a Florida pediatrician after she claimed her recent termination was a result of vaccine related politics.

Dr. Lisa Gwynn is a pediatrician with the University of Miami Health System who had begun a three-year term with the Florida Healthy Kids Board in March. Her brief stint with the board came to an abrupt halt Wednesday when the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the state, Jimmy Patronis, removed her from that position over alleged statements that Gwynn had made, Florida Politics reported.

However, as far as the doctor is concerned, her termination was based solely on her favorability toward vaccinating children under the age of five now that the COVID shot has received authorization.

“On the same day that we began administering COVID-19 vaccine to infants and children under 5,” she wrote on Twitter, “I was removed from the Florida Heathy Kids Board for advocating for equitable access for the underserved and for pediatricians. Disappointing.”

Gwynn’s claim contended that since the official position of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his surgeon general Joe Ladapo was to not recommend the administration of these vaccines to young children, she had been fired for her contrary stance.

An email sent by Patronis’ Deputy Chief of Staff Susan Miller disputed these claims, stating in part that Gwynn had made “some very political statements that do not reflect the CFO’s point of view, even going so far as to say that the state is ‘obstruct(ing)’ access to vaccines.”

All health care administrations in Florida are free to order and provide the COVID shots as they see fit. Miller went on, “The CFO does not share your opinion and believes the state has gone to great lengths to protect lives in the face of the Coronavirus.”

The argument against Gwynn’s claim was further supported by DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw whom the Tampa Bay Times reported stating, “Although the state surgeon general is affirmatively recommending against COVID vaccines for ages 0-5, neither he nor the governor, nor any state entity, has ever ‘obstructed’ healthcare providers from ordering the vaccines for this age group as soon as they received emergency use authorization from the federal government.”

“The decision to relieve Dr. Gwynn of her duties was made by the CFO, who has full authority over this appointment. Our office did not need to give approval for this decision to be made, but the logic of the CFO’s decision is clear: A board member making public, false accusations about state policies runs the risk of jeopardizing the constructive working relationship between the Florida Healthy Kids board and the state agencies they work closely with, including DOH and AHCA,” she went on.

Pushaw followed up these statements with a comment on the AHCA communication director Brock Juarez’s social media account after he had called out Gwynn for lying about the reasoning for her termination.

For what it’s worth, Pushaw contended, Patronis’ decision, “makes perfect sense.” Gwynn has stood by her claims and further added, “if I’m going to get released from the board of directors for that then so be it.”


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