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Letter: UF Health doctors’ emails show belief parents are a threat, contributions show they hope to retain influence

Dear Editor,

Last week, I sent a letter to the editor regarding UF/UF Health’s influence on the Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) Scientific Medical Advisory Council (SMAC) and documented how the school board , school district employees, and the SMAC violated Florida Sunshine laws, which guarantee public scrutiny of advisory committees. I found other public documents that I believe the public has a right to know, and this is an addendum to the original letter.

These public records indicate that high-level doctors in our community wanted to make sure parents who dared to disagree with them were intimidated by an increased security presence at school board meetings; there was also at least one ethics violation that came to light.

On August 2, 2021, at 9:11 p.m., Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young of UF Health wrote to Dr. Carlee Simon (superintendent of CASP at the time); Dr. Desmond Schatz, UF professor and interim chair of pediatrics; Amit Rawal with HCA Florida North Florida Regional Hospital; and Casey Hamilton, ACPS District Chief of Security:

I have just been informed that the proud boys attended a board meeting in Palm Beach and tried to
intimidate people and make a lot of noise. Are there backups or security measures in place for tomorrow’s board meeting just in case?


Superintendent at the time, Carlee Simon, responded almost immediately:

Date: 2021-08-02 21:19:41
From: “Carlee Simon”
To: “Mott-Young, Adrienne H”
Cc: “Schatz, Desmond A”, “Amit Rawal”, “Casey Hamilton”
Subject: Re: Concern for tomorrow
We’ll be at the county building with ASO at the gates. We will alert our team of our needs. Casey will help you with strategies and suggestions.

Dr. Desmond Schatz made sure to respond with his encouragement to step up security at school board meetings to protect doctors from parents and said it showed true leadership:

On August 2, 2021, at 9:24 p.m., Dr. Desmond Schatz wrote:

I just saw your email. Glory. I will mention it in my address.
This is real leadership. You listen.
Of the

UF employees have strict guidelines when serving in outside activity roles. When an employee uses UFL email and represents the university, UF policy states, “The primary professional obligation of university employees is to act in the best interests of the university and to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards. A University employee’s outside activities or interests must not conflict, or appear to conflict, with his or her professional duties to the University of Florida. »

As of August 7, 2021, the State and University had explicit policies against forced masking, as evidenced by the Governor’s executive order prohibiting their forced use in schools, a Florida Department of Health emergency rule protecting parental rights and state university system guidelines that have led to masks being “expected” but not required on the UF campus.

On August 17, Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young mistakenly used her UFL email to ask nearly every pediatrician in town (more than 75 pediatricians and practices received the email) to come forward in support of the UF doctors who encouraged the school board to rape the governor. Executive Decree. This email from Dr. Mott-Young’s UFL account was an informal bullying tactic, signaling that these doctors should comply with his views on masking children at school.

Subject: board meeting tonight

Hi there,

The next school board meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss extending the mask mandate. Tuesday August 17, 2021 at 6 p.m. The school board was extremely receptive to the medical providers at the last meeting and implored us to come back tomorrow night. For whatever is available, we would love to have you with us. Location is Alachua County Administration Building (12 SE 1st St, Gainesville, Fl 32601), tentatively 6-8, but previous meeting went past this time. > > Here is a link to the agenda: >

Thanks again for all your support!!!
Adrienne Mott Young
[Emphasis added]

The ethical violation was reported by Tim Marden in a message to all recipients of the original email:

From: Tim

Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Subject: When the facts don’t matter


Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young asked you via UF email this morning at 8:19 a.m. to come to the school board meeting tonight. This is a questionable solicitation from a public University e-mail system.

When Mott-Young’s email (which may have violated Sunshine Laws, as the subject was related to SMAC business and there were other SMAC members on the list) was leaked to the community, it seemed to upset those who sent it to rally only those who wanted to impose masks on children, against the executive order. Clearly, Dr. Desmond Schatz was only concerned that the leaked email had given time to organize “against” protests, and he demanded that the district step up security.

August 17, 2021 at 11:54 a.m. Schatz, Desmond A

I just learned that a counter-demonstration is planned. Will need security.

Of the
Desmond Schatz MD
Professor and Acting Director of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Diabetes Institute
University of Florida College of Medicine

Mott-Young was quick to admit that she was wrong to use her UFL email, but was mostly concerned about improving school safety:

On Tue Aug 17, 2021 @ 12:32 PM Mott-Young, Adrienne H wrote:
Sorry, I didn’t realize I shouldn’t have used UF email to notify my colleagues of the
Meet. I didn’t even really think about it. Thank you for the comments. will keep it
in mind for the future.
How worried should we be about tonight, security-wise?

There were major ethical violations by the University of Florida, UF Health, and ACPS, who worked together to conspire against the citizens of this district. These same doctors, and others who have spoken on behalf of UF Health at school board meetings, are now donating money to the campaign of District 5 school board candidate Prescott Cowles. Here are the details of their political donations to his campaign:

May 31: Dr. Desmond Schatz – $108
May 31: Dr. Michael Lauzardo – $100
June 3: Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young – $100
June 14: Dr. Kathleen Ryan – $300

These physicians worked with Cowles in his role as CASP’s COVID Response Coordinator during this time. These donations give the appearance of financially rewarding the person who coordinated secret meetings that violated Florida Sunshine laws and advocated for the district to violate Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Education policies on masking and parental rights. This makes it sound like the doctors at UF/UF Health are considering continuing to go overboard with Cowles as a trusted member of the school board, reclaiming their reign over our community.

Stefanie Stanton, Gainesville

Opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Letters may be submitted to [email protected] and are published at the editor’s discretion.

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