As if hydroxycloroquine wasn't enough, WorldNetDaily and its columnists found another dubious treatment for coronavirus to embrace: ivermectin. The dubious fringe-right docs at the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- who touted hydroxychloroquine -- were another the top backers:
- In September, Elizabeth Lee Vliet listed ivermectin among "cheap, safe, FDA-approved medicines" that could treat coronavirus, even though none of them has ever received FDA approval for that particular purpose.
- AAPS president Jane Orient touted how "Many scientific papers have been written in the past 40 years about the antiviral effects of many antimicrobials" like ivermectin, though again, they have not been approved for coronavirus treatment.
- Vliet repeated in October her claim of "cheap, safe, FDA-approved medicines"like ivermectin that can treat COVID.
- Orient, in a December column, cited "Early at-home treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics, corticosteroids and ivermectin," though emphasizing early treatment ignores the fact that coronavirus infection is often asymptomatic in its early stages.
- In a January column, Marilyn Singleton clainmed that "Other countries are using ivermectin, a safe antiparasitic used to treat scabies." Singleton links to an anonymous website purporting to list studies that claim ivermectin is effective -- but like other similar websites, the people behind them won't make themselves known, and they might actually be secretely operated by AAPS.
- The same month, Orient touted "re-purposed old drugs" like "ivermectin and antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine."
- In a March 16 column, AAPS member Joel Hirschhorn complained about "the rigorous, time-consuming and expensive randomized clinical trials that so many experts say is the gold standard for evaluating drugs," adding that "This absence was used by the government to condemn and block the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin."
Non-physician WND columnist Dennis Prager declared on Feb. 8 that "I put my medicines where my mouth is. I have been taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc (as well as vitamin D and selenium) on a regular basis for half a year, and ivermectin for the past three months," adding, "Given how safe hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are, what could we have possibly lost by allowing millions of people to take these medicines?"
WND writer Art Moore has also contributed to the pro-ivermectin propaganda. In December, he cheered how a doctor in a Republican-led Senate hearing on COVID treatment claimed that "another blocked drug that is inexpensive and widely available, ivermectin, prevents infection and saves lives." Later that month, Moore claimed to cite "many health experts who decry the politicization of COVID-19 treatments such as the cheap, proven and widely available drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin." Moore then gushed in a Feb. 25 article:
A new, peer-reviewed study finds that one of the cheap, widely available drugs that has been dismissed by the left, establishment media and many in the health establishment as a treatment for COVID-19 reduces infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.
Ivermectin, in more than 30 trials around the world, causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study, which will be published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, DailyMail.com reported.
The evidence is so strong, the researchers believe, the anti-parasitic drug should become a standard therapy everywhere, hastening global recovery.
But Moore has yet to report what happened next: A week later, the journal withdrew the article before actual publication, stating that it contained unsubstantiated claims and violated the journal’s editorial policies.
The study was manufactured by something called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, which was formed to push unapproved treatments like ivermectin. The journal that ultimately rejected the study noted that the authors, who are key officials at FLCCC, "promoted their own specific ivermectin-based treatment which is inappropriate for a review article and against our editorial policies."
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has taken a pretty solid stance against ivermectin absent genuine, objective research:
There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called ivermectin to treat humans with COVID-19. Ivermectin is often used in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.
The FDA has not reviewed data to support use of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients to treat or to prevent COVID-19; however, some initial research is underway. Taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous. This is true of ivermectin, too.
There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong.
Even the levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.
But that's not what WND wants to hear, unless that opposition can be twisted into an anti-government stance. The narrative is more important than the truth at WND.