Op-Ed: Answers about Ivermectin found in Australia, India

5f17bd50a561b image
My Op-Ed on my personal experience with ivermectin ran in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News

I want to respond to Wade Hoiland’s criticisms of my last column. First, I haven’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate in over 20 years, and I still regret the last time I did. Just because I criticize the current Democrat president doesn’t mean I’m not critical of Trump and other Republicans.

Second, Hoiland’s support of vaccine passports would limit the mobility and freedom of Americans in our own country. It’s clearly unconstitutional and would be ruled so by the Supreme Court. I imagine Hoiland would argue that requiring voter IDs would discriminate against minorities yet requiring vaccine passport IDs wouldn’t.

Taking his cue from CNN, Hoiland refers to the Nobel Prize-winning anti-parasitic drug, ivermectin, as a horse-dewormer. That’s like referring to water as a “horse drink.” As Saint Augustine said, when you state a truth in order to deceive, it’s still a lie. Ivermectin is referred to as a “wonder” drug and has been prescribed to billions of people worldwide. Why is this FDA-approved 1970s wonder drug suddenly vilified?

As H.L. Menckin famously said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” We live in a world where money rules and irrationality follows: The federal government will provide crack pipes to addicts, states promote selling of recreational drugs, yet ivermectin and monoclonal antibody therapies are withheld.

So that the Daily News editors do not need to run their standard disclaimer at the end of my Op-Ed, I will do it for them: ivermectin is not approved by the FDA to treat Covid cases in the United States. However, since the FDA is a political agency, I believe their reasons are political rather than scientific. Follow the money. Big Pharma cannot profit big from a repurposed drug.

The hope for ivermectin apparently stems from Australian researchers testing various FDA-approved drugs’ “repurposability” in the fight against Covid in April 2020. They found that ivermectin caused a 5000-fold reduction in the RNA virus after 48 hours. I think this was the first in vitro study demonstrating that ivermectin inhibited the replication of the original variant of SARS-CoV-2.
5f17bd50a561b image
After this, ivermectin started to be used internationally to treat Covid. In India, Ziverdo Kits (consisting of ivermectin, doxycycline, and zinc acetate) had been previously used to treat lung, nose, and throat infections but were repurposed for both prophylactic use and for treat Covid. At $2.02 per person, India’s government gives it out free. I’m not claiming causality here, but India ranks in the bottom half of the world’s countries for Covid death rates. What did India do right, and the US do wrong?

Last June, the Indian Bar Association served legal notice to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a Chief Scientist for the World Health Organization (WHO), alleging she harmed the people of India by campaigning against the use of ivermectin. They accused Swaminathan of “running a disinformation campaign against ivermectin by deliberate suppression of effectiveness of drug ivermectin as prophylaxis and for treatment of COVID-19, despite the existence of large amounts of clinical data compiled and presented by esteemed, highly qualified, experienced medical doctors and scientists.”

Furthermore, this month, Japanese pharmaceutical company Kowa and Tokyo’s Kitasato University released a statement saying that their initial research shows ivermectin’s “antiviral effect” against the Covid omicron variant. The research is still in early stages but shows promising results.

Additionally, there are many anecdotal accounts of people who used ivermectin with remarkable recoveries. The most publicly discussed is mega-popular podcast host Joe Rogan’s announcement last September that he was fighting Covid by taking ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies, Z-pack antibiotics, and a vitamin drip three days in a row. As a fitness health nut, he has refused to put an experimental vaccine in his body.

When I personally came down with Covid, I followed the 14-day India Ziverdo Kit prescription regiment: ivermectin for 3 days, doxycycline for 5 days, and zinc for 14 days. I started this on Day 3 of my symptoms and was symptom-free by Day 5. Anecdotal, maybe. But in this case with world-wide usage, anecdotal is looking more and more factual as this pandemic winds down.