Following the Science on Ivermectin

This is a transcript from my radio show. You can catch the full podcast here.

There are a large number of proponents of ivermectin out there. And they're agitating hard for it to be used against COVID as opposed to taking the vaccine. In fact, the people who refuse to take the vaccine are the largest proponents of it. And it seems odd to me, I think we've got a vaccine that we know works. The people who say they're worried about the long-term side effects of it, don't really understand how vaccines work, I think. You tend to know the results of vaccines within months. We're well beyond the point the MRNA dies within your body. There are a lot of people who try to raise science-sounding concerns, but I think those concerns largely are illegitimate. I understand their skepticism of the vaccine. I do. I do. But I think most of the skepticism and concerns I hear raised all the time are frankly illegitimate and from people who don't know enough to know how ignorant they sound, frankly. But that doesn't mean ivermectin is something that should be dismissed.

Now, the CDC and the FDA have come out and said, don't take ivermectin. In fact, I read the other day, a doctor is under investigation and is possibly going to lose his license for prescribing it to patients while dissuading them from taking the vaccine. But does it actually work? Now, here's what you need to know. Ivermectin is a horse medicine. It is given to horses. You can buy it from feed and seed stores for your horses, for parasitic infections among other things. But ivermectin is also given to human beings for parasitic infections, not viral infections. Parasites. A parasite and a virus are different things. But there are people who are taking it.

Now, what do we know about it? What does the data suggest? There are people who have taken ivermectin and say that they turned the corner very quickly thereafter. Follow along with me here before you tune me out because you get mad at something I say, when you haven't heard the complete thought. There is a legitimate well-documented placebo effect. Some people are given medicines, they're told are cure-alls, and in fact, it does wonders for them. This happens across the board, the placebo effect is a well-known thing. There are studies about ivermectin that are absolutely legitimately 100%. I know some of the people who took ivermectin and turned the corner on COVID.

There have not been any detailed studies out yet. Questions remain: Were the people who took our ivermectin on the verge of turning the corner anyway? Did they get the placebo benefit of ivermectin, or does it actually work? There are lots and lots of people rushing to push others into taking ivermectin because “it works” they claim. We don't actually know in those cases when it worked, if it was the placebo effect or not. Is it ivermectin or is it your brain using the placebo effect? Were these people going to turn the corner anyway? They had mild cases, took it very early, and they turned the corner anyway?

We do know that ivermectin can cause your body to produce a strong immune response even though it's for parasites like worms and the like. It could produce an immune response. Here's what we know and we don't know.

There are people who have benefited from it. There are also people who have not benefited from it. The people who talk about ivermectin as if it's a cure-all ignore that there are people who have seen no benefit from ivermectin. The question is, are the people who saw benefit from it getting a placebo effect, or is it actually doing something? A great many people in the medical community, epidemiologists, virologists, and others believe that ivermectin itself is not actually helping, that it doesn't actually help. That to the extent people feel benefited from it, they're getting either the placebo effect or their body was on the verge of turning the corner anyway because they had a mild case.

All of that is to say, there are still studies outstanding. So now let's take the next step. Is it the placebo effect? Maybe. Is it people who are going to turn the corner anyway? Maybe. Is it ivermectin actually did something? Maybe. Studies are still outstanding. What we do know is there are people and doctors who do believe that their patients saw the benefit. This gets into the hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin-zinc combo. Early on to the pandemic, Donald Trump offered up Azithromycin hydroxychloroquine, and zinc, that combination can help you turn the corner. Guess what? While it was widely dismissed and ridiculed at the time, 300 studies were done on the subject and the bulk of them revealed there was a benefit. Doctors, public health officials, and members of the media who were rapidly willing to dismiss it because Donald Trump said so had to walk it back. But let's say we don't know.

Why should we be discouraging doctors from studying a virus that is new and mutating? Why should we be discouraging doctors from trying anything they think will work? My gut tells me and I am not a doctor, I'm not an epidemiologist, I'm not a virologist. I talk to them though and I've read the research. Based on talking experts in the field my suspicion is that to the extent ivermectin works, it works for people with early cases because it causes your body to mount a response and to some degree, you benefit from the placebo effect as well. Look, I know people who have prescribed it and turned the corner rapidly. But my larger point here is two-fold.

One, why are public health officials in the media dismissing ivermectin and ridiculing people who take it? Not the horse dosage, but the doctors who say, hey, there are a lot of people out there who think this works. You've got a case of COVID. Let's get this in your system and see if it helps. Why are we ridiculing those people when they're trying to help their patients who may not be vaccinated? Your concern is that hospitals are overwhelmed. There's not enough space for people who are sick without COVID. There was a story about a veteran in Texas who died from a readily treatable problem, but couldn't get hospital space because of all the COVID patients. Why aren't we trying ivermectin out to see if we can get people out of the hospitals to free up space for everyone else. Why not?

But we also have a vaccine that works. I know it works because we had COVID in our house. My wife and I both were vaccinated and did not get COVID. I know it works because I was exposed to multiple people who had the Delta variant over a three-day prolonged period. One of those people, my dad, I sat next to in a car and in a hotel room, and I didn't get COVID. My mom, who got vaccinated, did not get COVID after taking care of my COVID-positive dad. The vaccine works. It doesn't work flawlessly, but at my dad’s age, he is one of the statistics of people who die. He did not. He is recovered. The vaccine works.

The people who are conjuring up all sorts of skeptical claims about the vaccine, it says more about their inability to trust than it does the vaccine. The vaccine itself works. The people with crazy conspiracy theories about the vaccine have issues. I know a lot of people who are deeply anti-vaccine. I am not, but if you're anti-vaccine let's just play this out now. You're anti-vaccine, you do not want to get it. You are scared of it. You don't trust the science. You don't trust the people. You don't trust the research. You don't trust any of that, but you're going to trust the medicine given to horses? Okay. Let's just say you are. Why can't we give it to them? The concern shouldn't be that they're going to die. It's perfectly safe in the prescribed quantity given to you. We're not talking about the horse dose. These people have not gone to the feed and seed. They've gone to their doctor. They've said, please give me ivermectin. I don't trust the vaccine. I don't trust the science, but my friends on Facebook who I trust, who think Elvis still works at the Burger King down the street, they're telling me ivermectin is a medicine to take. I want to take it. Why can't we tell the doctor, prescribe it?

The goal is to keep people from overwhelming the hospitals. If ivermectin has a shot at helping people turn the corner, why not give it to them? We've got enough. It's cheap. Why not? My doctor, who I see has been taking hydroxychloroquine on a regular basis and zinc. He has been exposed repeatedly to COVID patients. He has not gotten COVID. He says, he thinks it works. It is an anecdote for him. It's not data, but he and several of his friends, all of whom are doctors have been doing this. They haven't gotten COVID in their high-risk environments. He thinks it works.

Why aren't we allowing people to put their trust in medicines that some doctors think work? Here's the thing about the vaccine. One of the skepticism of the vaccine is that it was trotted out too fast. I've explained this before but just bear with me here. One of the reasons it takes so long to get a vaccine to market is because you really need to try it out on about 100,000 people and you don't have a lot of people sign up. You have 10,00 or 20,000 people sign up to be testers. It takes five to ten years to get to 100,000 people.

With the COVID vaccines, we had more than 100,000 people sign up out of the gate. When you give someone a vaccine, researchers follow that person for three months, the reason being is because historically all of the bad side effects you could get from a vaccine are pronounced within three months. This is why we don't worry about the long-term side effects of this vaccine. And contrary to claims you read on the internet, we actually have been using mRNA vaccines for some time in various different ways. The COVID vaccine works the same way. You can see the outcomes, good or bad, within several months.

With the COVID vaccine, instead of having to wait five to ten years, to get 100,000 people, we had 100,000 people signing up for each one of them. We tested 500,000 people out of the gate, within six months. That's how we were able to get it so quickly into the field. We didn't have to wait that long to get these statistical sampling needed to prove the efficacy of the vaccine. So why aren't we doing that with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine? You've got well over 100,000 people out there who would love to have ivermectin. They are skeptical of the vaccine in large part because the government botched the rollout. Remember the Johnson and Johnson drama?

We've got a ready pool of people willing to be tested who believe, based on their friends on Facebook, ivermectin is the way to go and are skeptical of the vaccine. Why not at least try it? We know it's not going to hurt them and that is the key thing. If they're not going to the feed and seed, they're actually going to their doctor and getting a human dosage of ivermectin, it's not going to kill them. It's not. Maybe it gets them over COVID. Maybe just, maybe it frees up resources and hospitals space for the guy who's had the heart attack and can't get in because there's no space. So why not try it?

I'm pro-vaccine. I think you should get the vaccine. But I also wonder why we don’t take an “all of the above” approach? You're punishing doctors and nurses who don't want the vaccine. You're punishing people who want to try a medicine to avoid having to go to the hospital. And you're saying, “no, no, we would rather you die than try this other approach.” That makes no sense. It's almost as if you really don't think the pandemic is as bad as it is or that you want people to follow you in a particular way. That's not public health, that's public health bureaucrats trying to control us, not contain a virus.

I think the goal here of the public health bureaucrats needs to be to control the virus, not control the population. If the goal is to control and contain a virus and stop hospitals from being overwhelmed, but a thousand flowers bloom in the fields, ivermectin, Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, the vaccine, let it all go out and track all the people who take it. And maybe we can get some real-world results from all of these things and find out what all works. Because here's the thing, we know you can treat COVID without having the vaccine. We know because there are thousands and thousands of people filling up hospitals around America who have COVID, who haven't been vaccinated and most of them are getting out of the hospital, not dying. So what's working beyond the vaccine? We should not turn our nose up at this or ridicule the people taking our ivermectin because their doctor said it might work and many people have taken it and seen it work. Let's let a thousand flowers bloom in fighting COVID.