Dr. Raul Pino’s ‘final fate’ remains unknown as investigation continues, Orange County mayor says
ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – It’s been a month and a half since the Florida Department of Health relieved its top Orange County official, pending an investigation the agency says it has turned over to the Office of Inspector General.
State officials spurred the investigation in response to an email Dr. Raul Pino sent to staff that included data regarding staff vaccinations.
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In the email, Pino writes: “I’m sorry, but at this point, in the absence of reasonable and real reasons, it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated.”
About a week after his suspension, Florida’s new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, defended the decision.
“I want to make it clear that this particular doctor was absolutely not put on administrative leave for any reason that was potentially political or related to anything other than the policies we have at the Department of Health,” Ladapo said Jan. This year. .
On Thursday, FDOH told News 6 there was no update on the investigation or on Pino’s employment status.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said at a press conference Thursday that his office had invited the FDOH to speak, but he said the agency had not sent a representative.
“Dr. Pino has become highly respected by his peers in the healthcare field,” Demings said. “I believe he feels that not knowing his final fate with his employer is worrisome to him.”
Demings went on to say that in recent communications, Pino said he may never return to work with the state.
Demings stood by Pino for the bi-weekly updates that have become regular during the pandemic.
Pino was named Orange County Medical Director in May 2019. He previously worked in Connecticut, including as Director of Health Services for the City of Hartford.
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