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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
WND Misleads About Another Dubious Study Promoting Ivermectin To Treat COVID
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's chief COVID misinformer and ivermectin cheerleader, Art Moore, found a new study to mislead about in an Aug. 31 article:

A large study on the impact of using ivermectin as a prophylaxis for COVID-19 found that regular users of the drug experienced up to a 92% reduction in mortality compared to those who did not.

Brazilian research scientist Dr. Flavio A. Cadegiani said via Twitter that his study in his home country showed a "dose-response effect," meaning that "the more you used, the more protection you had."

He observed that people who use ivermectin regularly every 15 days for at least six to eight weeks had up to a 92% reduction in mortality.

Cadegiani conducted a previous study of drug that evaluated whether its use could impact COVID-19 infection and mortality rates.

But as fact-checkers at actual news organization Reuters pointed out, the study is obsservational, not direct research, meaning that it "cannot prove that ivermectin is the reason for apparent reductions in risk of death from any cause or from COVID-19 specifically. And that's just the start of the study's issues:

First, in addition to being unable to confirm whether ivermectin users actually took all the medication they received from the program, the authors acknowledge but do not factor-in the possibility that people identified as non-users or irregular users could have acquired the drug outside the city’s program and taken it on their own.

Dr. Stuart Ray, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Reuters via email that “the accuracy of inferred ivermectin use seems to be low based on reports from the local health authorities in Brazil that many people took ivermectin who were not prescribed, and many who were prescribed ivermectin did not take it.”

Second, the study doesn’t account for other possible differences between the groups that could introduce bias in the calculations.

“The main shortcoming here is that the program was optional – and we know well from decades of literature, that those who choose to seek healthcare and take medicines are inherently different from those who do not,” Dr. Mark Siedner, an infectious disease clinician and clinical epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Reuters via email.

“There are also a number of additional shortcomings that have to do with missing data,” Seidner said. Referring to the 71,548 “moderate” users of ivermectin excluded from the analysis entirely, as well as the calculations based on small matched subsets of 283 people, he noted, “for example, almost half the sample appears to have been excluded and nearly 99% was excluded in their analysis that included age and health problems, and there is no good way of accounting for infection rates in people who were never tested.”

The study authors do acknowledge that they could have missed some hospitalizations, deaths, and COVID-19 infections that were not reported in the datasets they used.

In short: it's a low-quality study that ultimately can't definitively rove what it claims. Reuters summed up:

Observational studies like the one from Brazil help generate new ideas but do not provide the evidence required to make clinical or public health recommendations, Seidner said. “In light of so much better data showing ivermectin is not helpful, even in the early stages of COVID-19, the findings of this study should not be used for much more than to potentially encourage a better study to be done to explore its safety and benefit as a prevention agent.”

Moore won't tell you any of this, of course; instead, he spent the rest of his article rehashing old grievances about how legitimate medical authorities have repeatedly pointed out how legitimate medical research has shown that ivermectin really doesn't work against COVID, invoking shady COVID misinformers and fellow ivermectin enthusiasts like Pierre Kory and Harvey Risch.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT

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