Ivermectin and Irresponsible Infotainment

Sound decisions require sound reporting.

So, yesterday I noticed the following circulating on Twitter (from the MSDH’s FB page):

Details here via ABC News: Mississippi officials warn against using livestock ivermectin to prevent COVID-19 after rise in poison control calls

I have been aware that some people have been promoting, and others taking, ivermectin as a treatment (or an alleged preventative?) for Covid-19. Not surprisingly, veterinary-grade medications intended for use as a dewormer for horses aren’t something one ought to self-medicate with.

Like hydroxychloroquine before it, a bunch of people decided that some vague news acquired via social media or somesuch trumps global medical science.

To wit, via Health Feedback: Video shared by Sebastian Gorka Facebook page shows nurse making false and unsubstantiated claims about ivermectin, COVID-19 PCR tests, and COVID-19 vaccine safety

On 13 August 2021, the Facebook page “America First With Dr. Sebastian Gorka” published a video of nurse Nicole Whitley, who made several claims about ivermectin, COVID-19 vaccine safety, and the COVID-19 PCR tests. Sebastian Gorka is a military and intelligence analyst who served as Deputy Assistant to the President during the Trump administration.

The video was also shared on Rumble by a channel bearing the same name as the Facebook group and on Instagram by mixed martial artist Mitch Aguiar. All in all, copies of the video received more than 2 million views.

The claims made by Whitley were debunked in earlier fact-checks by both Health Feedback and other fact-checkers, as we show below.

While I understand the desire for a cheap, miraculous cure, I simply do not understand the propensity of some people to be more willing to trust some random video than established medical science. It is especially baffling since it is likely that there is some overlap between people who don’t trust the vaccine because it is “experimental” and yet were willing to ingest hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin because, well, they saw a video on Rumble.

The notion of snake oil salesmen and the “patent medicines” rage of the late 19th/early 20th centuries comes to mind. Plus, even in our allegedly more enlightened times, people will buy supposed medications and supplements that promise to do all kinds of things, but that has no actual scientific backing. But taking echinacea (to pick a fairly benign example) because you think it will lessen the severity of the common cold (even if there is no evidence that it does) is a lot different than taking horse meds because some random nurse as promoted by a talk show host told you so.

And yet,

And it isn’t just Gorka’s social media accounts, it is Fox News more broadly. Here is an FNC headline from July: Biologist to Tucker: If Ivermectin proven effective against COVID, it moots vaccine push.

Well, sure, if some other thing is shown to be effective it would change the approach to treatment (although it still wouldn’t necessarily blunt the vaccine push, since treatment and prevention are two different things).

The linked piece tells us:

An evolutionary biologist claimed Friday that, should the anti-malarial drug Ivermectin be proven effective against the coronavirus, it would moot the usage of and potentially the ability to administer the U.S. coronavirus vaccines currently active under the Food & Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Bret Weinstein – who previously made headlines after being pressured out of his biology professorship at Evergreen State College in Washington State for criticizing an anti-White “day-of-absence” – told Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today” that he has been analyzing the vaccines, and has summarily been censored for raising concerns about the shots and the medical establishment’s opposition to alternative treatments.

“[I]f Ivermectin is what those of us who have looked at the evidence think it is … then the debate about the vaccines would be over by definition, because the vaccines that we have so far were granted emergency use authorization,” Weinstein said, noting that the coronavirus vaccines are not formally “approved” treatments by the FDA and instead administered under the rarely-delineated category of EUA.

(Side note: how is it that with Tucker race always figures in somehow?)

I have to ask: in what way is Weinstein, “analyzing the vaccines”? As noted, he is an evolutionary biologist and, as best as I can tell, none of his research has anything to do with vaccines.

If one reads further, he really isn’t even addressing the efficacy of the vaccine, but rather the conditions for EUA. (Note that on Monday the FDA is expected to move the Pfizer vaccine off of EUA to fully approve status). All of that is about treating vaccinations as some political ploy than an actual public health policy (all of which, in addition to touting an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment empowers vaccine hesitancy).

Sean Hannity was likewise discussing ivermectin as a viable choice on his FNC show on August 3rd:

 We’re also going to discuss something often overlooked and that is the incredible therapeutics that are now being used to treat not just breakthrough cases, but all cases. That includes, yes, the monoclonal cocktail known as Regeneron, the Eli Lilly version of Regeneron. Even, yes, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin. You get to decide.

There is a conversation that discussed ivermectin later in the transcript that I will not excerpt here. Why he feels the need to include a known, efficacious therapeutic, Regeneron, alongside hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, I do not understand. But, hey, you get to decide! (And if you decide poorly, you might find yourself hospitalized).

Look, if there are sound reasons to experiment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, that’s fine. I am neither a biologist nor a chemist. But I understand the basic ways in which science works and chatting about things on a talk show is not the basis to decide which drugs to take.

All of this is a reminder that Gorka, Carlson, Hannity, and their ilk are entertainers who really don’t care about accuracy. Truly scientific discussions are dry and boring, and dry and boring do not extract eyeballs.

I have noted in the past that elite cues matter. Imagine if Gorka and friends had been encouraging vaccinations from the beginning rather than playing these games.

One of the more naive things I believed, even into my early thirties, was that the expansion of the media market away from the limited choices that existed in my youth (i.e., a handful of channels, one or two local papers, etc.) would lead to more and better information. But that assumed that the demand that drove supply was for good information, but of course, that is not the case. The market that exists is to be entertained by our “news” and to have that “news” confirm our positions, not to be informed. There are people who want good, accurate news, but they are not the main drivers of mass markets.

These guys are all rewarded with big paychecks for their irresponsible behavior and, therefore, they have no incentive to be anything other than irresponsible. And so we find ourselves in a world wherein some not insignificant number of people will refuse to take the vaccines because the “news” has made them doubtful. And, worse, some number will take medicine intended for farm animals because Hannity told them he was just reporting, and they could then decide.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Health, Media, U.S. Constitution
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    There are people who love those weird, pillowy candies called circus peanuts. As long as those people exist some capitalist will supply their desired product.

    There is nothing in economic or political theory to stop the greedy from feeding the stupid. We have to look to ethics and morality, or the lack of same at places like Fox News. From the POV of a Murdoch, why shouldn’t he profit from telling fatal lies to people? Profit is all the justification he needs. It’s all the justification our society demands. This is America where suicide is freedom.

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  2. CSK says:

    I’m thinking back to April 2020 when Trump promoted ingesting Clorox as a cure-all for Covid.

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Circus peanuts are even more revolting than Peeps and candy corn.

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  3. gVOR08 says:

    One of the move naive things I believed, even into my early thirties, was that the exanpsion of the media market away from the limited choices that existed in my youth (i.e., a handful of channels, one or two local papers, etc.) would lead to more and better information.

    IIRC Arthur C. Clarke predicted FM would lead to a great diversity of niche stations, that we’d have a Chopin station and a chess station and a jazz station. What’d we get? Ten rock stations, ten talk stations, and five God stations. (I can’t believe my luck. When we moved to FL from Cincinnati I left behind a good full time classical station, but to my surprise there’s a good full time classical station in Sarasota. What are the odds?)

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  4. gVOR08 says:

    James has a post up properly laying the blame for Afghanistan at the feet of Pompeo and Trump. The blame for all this ivermectin, Clorox, mask feuds in school board meetings, and vac opposition also belongs squarely at the feet of Trump. He realized he could score with his base running on being in favor of the spread of a potentially deadly disease. I would never have thought that would work. People tell me I should respect base GOPs, but apparently I respect them too much. Trump understands the public, or maybe 30% of the public, better than I do. Thank God he wasn’t just a little more successful with it.

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  5. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    IIRC Arthur C. Clarke predicted FM would lead to a great diversity of niche stations, that we’d have a Chopin station and a chess station and a jazz station.

    There’s always been a bunch of fuzzy idealistic thinking about technological advances. People always seem to get confused between what can be done and what will be done by forgetting to factor in the ancillary effects of the need/desire to monetize whatever venture we’re talking about. And congratulations on finding a classical music station in your new digs. Where I live, the stronger niche market is jazz and even that niche is populated significantly by low wattage college stations that can fund on a shoestring with legacy equipment. Commercial classical music, meh… not so much.
    ETA:

    He realized he could score with his base running on being in favor of the spread of a potentially deadly disease. I would never have thought that would work.

    The adage about nobody ever going broke from underestimating the intelligence of the public holds true even in the age of the “global electronic library at our fingertips.” Mostly because its still a mall rather than a library and the point of it existing is business instead of information.

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  6. Mister Bluster says:

    All of this is a reminder that Gorka, Carlson, Hannity, and their ilk are entertainers who really don’t care about accuracy.

    Rush Limbaugh always denied his show was a news broadcast and insisted it was an entertainment venue from the beginning of his syndication in the late 1980’s. This relieved him of any obligation for accuracy and truth in what he said on the air.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While I understand the desire for a cheap, miraculous cure

    While not a cure, the vaccines are a cheap and miraculous in their development preventative against serious illness. So I gotta say I don’t think that is what some people are looking for.

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  8. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There are people who love those weird, pillowy candies called circus peanuts.

    My late grandmother loved circus peanuts. LOVED them. So much so that whenever I get the chance to visit her grave, I’ll leave a few on the headstone.

    I’ll eat the rest myself, because I like them almost as much as she did…lol…one day I’ll figure out what the flavor is supposed to be.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: He realized he could score with his base running on being in favor of the spread of a potentially deadly disease.

    Strictly speaking, that’s not what he ran on. He ran on being in favor of anything the DEMs weren’t in favor of, which just so happened to mean in favor of quack theories and snake oil remedies. If he was going to faithfully follow Cleek’s Law, this was the inevitable result. The DEMs made him do it.

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  10. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @CSK:

    Circus peanuts are even more revolting

    yes, they sure are

    than Peeps and candy corn.

    why don’t we step outside and you say that Again!

    😛

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  11. Gustopher says:

    Until they feel it in their wallets, this will continue.

    We’ve seen our free speech standards used to undermine democracy, any response to climate change, and now public health. It’s a weakness in our society that people have figured out how to exploit for political or financial gain (or just plain spite, because I don’t know what benefit spreading covid has)

    The old chestnut “the answer to bad speech is more good speech” isn’t working. We need something better. (Also, “The only way to stop bad guy with bad speech is a good guy with a gun” would be overly harsh for a first step)

    Limiting speech is fraught with potential danger, but leaving things as they are is fraught with actual danger. We need some form of consequences to those who push lies as facts, while still protecting the core of free speech.

    I think a standard of plausible truth (below probable truth) applied to those with major impact (more than 1M followers, listeners, viewers) with some criminal and civil enforcement mechanisms. And a requirement that when they are trying to “teach the controversy” that they actually teach the controversy and both sides — which will make for far less engaging television.

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  12. Gustopher says:

    @CSK:

    Circus peanuts are even more revolting than Peeps and candy corn.

    And speech like this would be punishable by death. Peeps are just puffed, gelatinous sugar. They are sweet.

    Circus peanuts are packing material that has gone bad and begun to smell.

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  13. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    There’s always been a bunch of fuzzy idealistic thinking about technological advances. People always seem to get confused between what can be done and what will be done by forgetting to factor in the ancillary effects of the need/desire to monetize whatever venture we’re talking about.

    I have, for a long time, wanted to ask those people to envision a world where copyrights will routinely last for over a hundred years. Where the National Archive does not digitize the single deteriorating copy of old movies because they can’t determine who holds the copyright. Where places like Sci-Hub emerge in foreign countries because scientific journals price articles beyond the range of professionals in poor countries and hobbyists even in rich ones.

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  14. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    This is America where suicide is freedom.

    There is a Reddit page called I Never Thought Leopards Would Eat MY Face named after the classic joke about Trumpers.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/LeopardsAteMyFace/

    It’s filled with a new news story every day of the format “(cop/politician/restaurant owner/etc) who swore they wouldn’t allow any mask wearing, and last week was put on a ventilator, has now died”

    And every post has tens of thousands of Likes because a lot of people have reached Covidfreude.

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  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Gustopher:

    Limiting speech is fraught with potential danger, but leaving things as they are is fraught with actual danger. We need some form of consequences to those who push lies as facts, while still protecting the core of free speech.

    Very true. Back when we relied on newspapers, radio and TV to exchange information, the owners acted as a filter. It didn’t mean that they never passed on bad info,but they had the ability to correct their error.

    FaceBook, YouTube et. al. have been given protections that should really only be available to businesses that serve as infrastructure and not communication mediums. If the survivors of someone who died because they took de-wormer, after learning about it on some authoritative sounding Facebook post, those posts would disappear in a hurry.

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  16. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    A few days ago Matt Gaetz was at a rally, and said he was tired of hearing from “that sniveling little twit Anthony Fauci”…

    …and the crowd cheered.

    If Fauci said something about the virus and vaccines, then Trump said something contradicting him, you and I would think “well imma go with Fauci, obviously.” But there’s a percentage of the public that would think “yeah what’s that dork Fauci know anyway. He thinks he’s so smart with his stupid big words.”

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  17. Not the IT Dept. says:

    @Teve: “Covidfreude”

    Yo, Webster’s! Over here! You got to include this in future publications.

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  18. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: My coworker’s father-not-in-law is/was in a Texas ICU dying from covid (he might have completed the process by now) because he didn’t believe in covid or the vaccines. It’s just sad — he believed shit being told to him, and will have paid with his life and a really horrible death.

    I don’t know the dude, but I doubt he deserved death for poor information filtering (an uncomfortable week, and a single small lingering effect that is not debilitating and just serves as a constant reminder… sure. Death, eh, it’s a bit much) He’s a victim of misinformation as much as covid.

    My brothers are morons who believe all this shit (one caved immediately at the first sign of vaccine passports that never came to pass, the other nearly died from covid, although he assures us it was no worse that the flu, and it was all his pre-existing conditions that nearly killed him, such as blood clots, heart attack, sepsis… and that he had all the symptoms of long covid before getting covid). I’m not convinced that either of them would deserve death either. Well maybe for misuse of apostrophes.

    But, Fox folks and the governors who all get vaccinated and then keep pushing the lies… less sad.

    I want Abbot to die slowly on a ventilator and am very disappointed that he is barely symptomatic.

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  19. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher:

    I want Abbot to die slowly on a ventilator and am very disappointed that he is barely symptomatic.

    Because vaccines work.

    These fuckers will kill their constituents for political power, but they for damn sure get the vaccine themselves.

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  20. Pete S says:

    Sometimes i think of the Fox News Ghouls like the two old guys in Trading Places, messing with and ruining lives for their own enjoyment. I am sure they like the money they make but in the end it’s all a game.

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  21. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: twice in my life I thought of a neat invention only to discover that I had been beaten to the Patent Office. But I took solace in the fact that one time I had only been beaten by months. If I recall correctly that was for coffee with nicotine in it so you could get your coffee and cig without having to go outside or be stinky. When I thought of Covidfreude I thought I had been really clever, but Adam Lee at his wonderful blog beat me by 17 days.

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  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, the “flavor” is white sugar.

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  23. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Apparently it’s supposed to be banana, which would have been my last guess.

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  24. Hal_10000 says:

    Even if Ivermectin worked — which it does not — it would be a therapeutic that would slightly improve the symptoms of the disease and maybe cut the mortality rate a little. There has never been a therapeutic that is an absolute cure. Saying the make vaccines “moot” is insane.

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  25. Teve says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m not convinced that either of them would deserve death either. Well maybe for misuse of apostrophes.

    if I were on the jury and the murderer was enraged by someone misusing apostrophe’s, Id vote Not Guilty!

    Re: Circus peanuts, the company claims they’re actually banana flavored, but I can’t recall, because I only tried them once as a kid, and I spat it out like any good red-blooded American would do.

    Jelly beans are candy. Skittles are candy. Crunch bars are candy. Circus peanuts are Marxist Leninist. BRB doing a quick remote spot on Ingraham.

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  26. Joe says:

    This Ivermectin thing’s been around for quite a while. Interesting that it is just now jumping to the fore. I have a business partner who is a COVID denier. He pointed me to a video probably last Fall of some doctor in Boise, Idaho giving a talk to a subcommittee of the Idaho legislature. That doctor asserted that there was an entire state in India that was up and running with no lockdowns and no masks because they were using Ivermectin as a cure. Since states in India are pretty big and I was confident an entire Indian state that was successfully beating COVID might show up in a news story, I Googled it. Seems a hospital someplace in India had experimented with Ivermectin for its staff as a preventative with – at the time – ambiguous results. I pointed out to my partner that this doctor was a little fact challenged, and got back some nonsense about “basic truth.”

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  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Cleek’s Law personified.

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  28. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Dunning-Kruger.

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  29. Matt Bernius says:

    Looking forward to @JKB charging in to tell us how this is wrong with lots of citations.

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  30. steve says:

    I tend to read medical journals and not Breitbart so I many not have all of the correct info on Ivermectin but have read a bit on it. There were a lot of early studies claiming that Ivermectin had some positive effects. There were also some studies that showed it had no effect. Some of the most positive studies were found to have significant errors (see link) and some were so small they were not meaningful. The more recent studies have been larger and were better quality studies. They are showing no effect. However, there are still some ongoing large studies which should put it to rest. At this point it likely that if it does have a positive effect it is small, as was suggested above. It is not a cure. The studies you need to look out for that get cited a lot usually have the names Hill and Kory attached. They are suspect.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02081-w

    Steve

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  31. Kylopod says:

    How timely for this article to appear now. Phil Valentine, the anti-vax Tennessee radio host who got Covid and whose status I’ve been following for weeks, just died. He had previously said he was safe from getting Covid due to his taking ivermectin.

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  32. Kathy says:

    There’s a good illustration here about innumeracy and plain ignorance.

    Most people who get COVID will recover (long COVID being a separate issue). Many of those who are hospitalized but don’t reach the IU and/or ventilator stage will recover as well. All drugs approved for use by regulatory agencies the world over have been proven safe. All have known side effects and known contraindications.

    Therefore many infected covidiots can take ivermectin, or Plaquenil, or antibiotics, etc. and credit them with their recovery, when at best all they did was nothing.

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  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Matt Bernius: I wouldn’t count on that.

    Wait… you were just being snarky? Ooops, mi bad 🙁 . I’ll just slink away now.

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  34. charon says:

    Why he feels the need to include a known, efficacious therapeutic, Regeneron, alongside hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, I do not understand.

    Ron DeSantis is such a frequent Fox News guest Fox is clearly pushing him. Ron DeSantis is pushing Regeneron as a vaccination alternative, coincidentally DeSantis has a big donor who is heavily invested in Regeneron.

    @gVOR08:

    The blame for all this ivermectin, Clorox, mask feuds in school board meetings, and vac opposition also belongs squarely at the feet of Trump.

    It absolutely does not.

    Trump understands the public, or maybe 30% of the public, better than I do.

    Trump’s great talent is seeing which way the herd is stampeding and racing out in front. The herd was going anti-vax without any help from Trump.

    Like hydroxychloroquine before it, a bunch of people decided that some vague news acquired via social media or some such trumps global medical science.

    Cleek’s Law, partisanship trumps self-interest. liberals believe in vaccination so that is anathema to partisan Republicans.

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  35. MC62 says:

    “As noted, he [Weinstein] is an evolutionary biologist and, as best as I can tell, none of his research has anything to do with vaccines.” Says the humanities hack who appears to have a degree in BS to rival his BA. At least Weinstein is a scientist and familiar with scientific studies and how they are conduct unlike Taylor who at best uses his post-hole digger to spread his leftist fertilizer to propagandize the unwitting skulls full of mush he teaches.. Amazing that Taylor didn’t cite studies like the meta-analysis study out of the UK which determined that as a prophylaxis pharmacy grade Ivermectin is 83% effective. I guess such studies are a pesky hindrance to his feeble rant.
    And since Taylor is so jazzed about the forthcoming FDA approval of his precious vaccines, maybe both Taylor and the FDA can riddle me this: 1. How long does immunity from the vaccine last? Based on what is happening in Israel, Iceland, and Ireland appearantly not very long as numerous fully vaxxed people are now hospitalized and they are promoting a 3rd jab–that didn’t take long. So, if the 3rd jab is effective–and since no randomized clinical trials have been conducted no one can intelligently or confidently say–is it really feasible to vaccinate the whole world every 6 to 7 months??????; 2. What are the medium to long-term effects of the vaccine? Please cite empirical data from randomized clinical trials–oh, that is right all those who received the jab are part of the Guinness Book of World Records for clinical trials; 3. Is natural immunity better than the artificial immunity of the vaccine?; 4. Will mass vaccination on an unstable virus like Covid produce a variant that, like a bacterial super-bug, is wholly resistant to any vaccine the wizards of smart can produce?; and 5. If the vaccine is so effective, why is a 3rd jab now required and will it lead to a 4th, 5th etc ???? I won’t hold my breath waiting for your empirical data to support your pontifications.

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  36. Teve says:

    @charon: K-Drummy-Drum had some data a few weeks ago showing that Republicans were just as hostile to previous vaccines like Gardasil. That wasn’t Trump, that was just the usual hostility to science you see with Global Warming Denial and Creationism. I just got attacked on FB minutes ago for pointing out on a friend’s page that the only demographic Trump won was whites w/o college degree and some rando came at me with long paragraphs like

    “The AMERICAN people Picked ‘TRUMP!!’ Because “WE” now college “degrees” Don’t mean Sh**!!

    and so on and so forth.

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  37. Teve says:

    @Teve: Using “quote” marks for “emphasis” might actually be worse than greengrocer’s apostrophe. 😛

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  38. Matt Bernius says:

    It’s so nice to see the IDW has sent thier best.

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  39. @MC62:

    Says the humanities hack…

    I see you have come for honest, productive conservation (and that’s “social science hack” if you please).

    Amazing that Taylor didn’t cite studies like the meta-analysis study out of the UK which determined that as a prophylaxis pharmacy grade Ivermectin is 83% effective. I guess such studies are a pesky hindrance to his feeble rant.

    I would note that you did not include any links. Please feel free to share.

    In regards to your concerns about vaccines, here are some numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

    The data reported from these states indicate that breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are extremely rare events among those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (see Figure 1). The rate of breakthrough cases reported among those fully vaccinated is below 1% in all reporting states, ranging from 0.01% in Connecticut to 0.54% in Arkansas.

    The hospitalization rate among fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 ranged from effectively zero (0.00%) in California, Delaware, D.C., Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, and Virginia to 0.06% in Arkansas. (Note: Hospitalization may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)
    The rates of death among fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 were even lower, effectively zero (0.00%) in all but two reporting states, Arkansas and Michigan where they were 0.01%. (Note: Deaths may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)

    Emphases mine above and these data represent empirical evidence for why I have been vaccinated and why I will take a booster if needed.

    Additionally:

    Almost all (more than 9 in 10) COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred among people who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, in those states reporting breakthrough data (see Figure 2).

    The reported share of COVID-19 cases among those not fully vaccinated ranged from 94.1% in Arizona to 99.85% Connecticut.
    The share of hospitalizations among those with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated ranged from in 95.02% in Alaska to 99.93% in New Jersey. (Note: Hospitalization may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)
    The share of deaths among people with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated ranged from to 96.91% in Montana to 99.91% in New Jersey. (Note: Deaths may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)

    The charts and more information are at the link.

    These reflect numbers that have been widely reported by various media outlets from a number of locations: while breakthrough cases do occur, the hospitalizations and deaths are overwhelmingly unvaccinated persons (these are empirical facts).

    It also true that if we look around the country that Higher Vaccination Rates=Lower Hospitalization Rates.

    Such are the empirical observations to date, anyway.

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  40. keef says:

    @MC62:

    I’ve always said, ask a PolySci prof when you want to know about disease.

    Weinstien’s fundamental points were:

    1. Although Ivermectin may or may not ultimately prove to be efficacious, statistics (appx 150,000 patients in Peru, Mex Cty and India; using requirement of hospitalization as the outcome variable) suggest an obvious need for a full scale study.

    1a. There are 4 criteria for emergency authorization of the vaccine, one of which is lack of alternatives. Hence, Ivermectin had to be pronounced ineffective or the vaccine does not receive approval.

    2. Merck, the former patent holder (it has run out) and market share leader in Ivermectin, no longer produces even 5% of worldwide output. They declared Ivermectin non-efficacious. Why? They were to receive a grant to investigate other therapeutics. This is an obvious conflict of interest that should have been part of disclosures and discussion of Ivermectin.

    It may ultimately be shown that the vaccines were the best choice under the circumstances. However, an honest person should acknowledge that there have been a significant number of unexplained deaths following vaccination. Unexplained, not necessarily causation. However, we should be having an honest discussion about Ivermectin and understand that we are involved in a mass human experiment. If Ivermectin is efficacious then the vaccine rush is irresponsible.

    But as you have seen, the bloggers and commenters on this blog never let a considered and balanced point of view get in the way of a good politically biased rant. As for CSK claiming that Trump recommended injecting Clorox. Well, tells you what you are dealing with here.

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  41. @keef:

    I’ve always said, ask a PolySci prof when you want to know about disease.

    First, why can’t people as least insult me correctly? It’s “PoliSci.”

    Second, it always is weird to me that anonymous commenters will sometimes attempt to question whether I ought to be opining on a subject. But if I am not to be listened to, how much less so should some person about whom we know nothing? It is a profoundly odd position to take.

    suggest an obvious need for a full scale study.

    As I said in the OP: “Look, if there are sound reasons to experiment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, that’s fine.” I have no objections to experiments. I object to people making wild claims and misleading the population.

    It may ultimately be shown that the vaccines were the best choice under the circumstances. However, an honest person should acknowledge that there have been a significant number of unexplained deaths following vaccination. Unexplained, not necessarily causation.

    There have been people who have died after taking the vaccine, this is true.

    Would you like to back up your position with some actual data rather than vague statements?

    If Ivermectin is efficacious then the vaccine rush is irresponsible.

    Except you are conflating treatment with prevention (and predicating it on a HUGE hypothetical).

    But as you have seen, the bloggers and commenters on this blog never let a considered and balanced point of view get in the way of a good politically biased rant.

    What are you talking about? Is your comment above or isn’t it?

    As for CSK claiming that Trump recommended injecting Clorox. Well, tells you what you are dealing with here.

    While “injecting Clorox” is a bit of poetic license, allow me to directly quote the 45th President:

    “The disinfectant knocks it out in a minute. One minute,” he said. “Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside?” He said it would be “almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number on the lungs.”

    You can watch him talk about putting light inside the body and using disinfectants inside the body here.

    Did he say “inject Clorox”? No. Did he stand at a podium on international news and suggest that powerful lights and disinfectants could be deployed inside the body? Yes. Yes he did.

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  42. mattbernius says:

    @MC62:
    Since you are interested in honest debate, I am sure you are interested in reading a well cited rebuttal from *checks credentials* a Medical Doctor on how Bret Weinstein either doesn’t understand how to read meta-studies or is misrepresenting the findings. In fact, the site has been tracking this long-standing pattern in Weinstein’s Covid-19 analysis.

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/ivermectin-is-the-new-hydroxychloroquine-take-4-bret-weinstein-misrepresents-meta-analyses/

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  43. mattbernius says:

    @keef:
    Huh, given your rather dumb takes on Covid during your brief posting in 2020, maybe you should sit this one out.

    But, hey, let’s go down memory lane:

    Another grim statistic. Regular flu kills 650,000/yr – year in and year out. Number of posts about “grim statistics” at OTB the past 10 years? I’m thinking zero. I wonder why?

    OK, ok. No I’m not.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/one-million-dead-from-covid-19-worldwide/#comment-2549466

    Lert’s check, in 2020 Covid-19 killed over 3,000,000 people. The world wide total is now up to 4.2 million. BTW, the US is nearing 650,000 deaths from Covid-19 on its own.

    But hey, it’s just like the flu. Which was a point that a guy name Drew tried to push for quite a while. BTW, if you go back and look at his predictions they were even more ridiculous.

    Then there was this one:

    Of course “almost no lockdown Sweden” has excess mortality of, well, zero.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/more-magical-thinking-on-covid-from-the-trump-camp/#comment-2562682

    As usual, the facts seem to be a little different:

    Preliminary data from EU statistics agency Eurostat compiled by Reuters showed Sweden had 7.7% more deaths in 2020 than its average for the preceding four years.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-europe-mortality/sweden-saw-lower-2020-death-spike-than-much-of-europe-data-idUSKBN2BG1R9

    Last I checked 7.7% is a lot higher than zero. Of course, I have a humanities background, so what do I know. Maybe someone who came from Engineering or got an MBA could explain that math to me.

    More on that visible spike here: https://twitter.com/HMDatabase/status/1345417758129999872

    So, maybe, just maybe, you don’t have the necessary intellect or just intellectual honesty to actually evaluate these sorts of claims.

    Also, I think you might find the Science Based Medicine critique of the problems with the metastudy analysis quite interesting.

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  44. mattbernius says:

    @MC62:

    Amazing that Taylor didn’t cite studies like the meta-analysis study out of the UK which determined that as a prophylaxis pharmacy grade Ivermectin is 83% effective. I guess such studies are a pesky hindrance to his feeble rant.

    Oh, right the meta study… let’s take a look at that:
    Bret’s repeated claim that it is “something like 100% effective” is based on a single, highly dubious study that was considered suspect even at the outset, and has been found to contain some worrying anomalies. Even the meta-study that Bret and Heather suggest is a gold standard includes in its analysis only two papers that examined the use of ivermectin as a preventative measure (as opposed to a treatment)—and some of the other evidence they cite is dubious as well. For example, they claim that ivermectin may have helped reduce the number of deaths from Covid in India. However, it was never widely used a prophylactic there, and data from crematoriums in that country suggest that there may have been up to ten times more Covid fatalities than had previously been thought.

    Source: with links to back up the analysis https://areomagazine.com/2021/08/12/on-bret-weinstein-alternative-media-ivermectin-and-vaccine-related-controversies/

    Ok, so a meta study of *2 papers* dealing with using ivermectin as a preventative…. That’s not exactly a major sampling.

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  45. @mattbernius:

    But, hey, let’s go down memory lane:

    You’d think the numbers versus the previous comments would create some level of introspection.

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  46. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: it would be nice. However, based on past behavior, all that being confronted by being wrong will do is cause him to stop posting in this thread or OTB, only to pop up later to tell us how dumb and brainwashed we are, and then do another self-own like this one.

    But that’s what happens when you are always the smartest person in the room.

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  47. @Matt Bernius: Indeed.

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MC62: I’m in a drive-by mood today, so I’ll just note that “skull full of mush” (you’re a dittohead, I take it?) definitely refers to someone connected with this comment, but it’s unlikely to be either Dr. Taylor or his students.

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  49. steve says:

    Matt’s cited article about Ivermectin (the new hydroxychloroquine) is actually quite good. It also reminds that I forgot to remind people that Bryant along with Hill and Kory is the other name to look out for when it comes bad literature. I would also recommend it for the discussion on meta-analyses. All the time that we have had Covid the disinformation people have been resorting to them to try to make a stronger case for whatever therapy they are supporting. Its really advocacy writing and not science. Anyway, taking a bunch of poorly done, individually weak studies and piling them together does not equate to being a super big, super good study. It actually tends to amplify errors. The choice of which papers to put in is an influence. A lot of the studies arent really studying exactly the same things, have different methods and different cutoffs for significance.

    Steve

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  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    True. We should also note that what all of this insane touting of the drug as a miracle cure / preventative has wrought hasn’t been folks thinking “I should ask my doctor for a prescription for this”. It has largely been folks thinking “I can buy this at my local farm store whenever I like”.

    As dewormer paste intended for horses. For a drug with a relatively tiny therapeutic window and a dosage scheme measured in micrograms. What could possibly go wrong…

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  51. Matt Bernius says:

    BTW, in case anyone doesn’t want to accept the veracity of the articles I shared because those publications are under the sway of “big medicine” or “too woke” I would suggest this article from core IDW (and former Bret W promoting site) The Quillette:

    https://quillette.com/2021/07/06/looking-for-covid-19-miracle-drugs-we-already-have-them-theyre-called-vaccines/

    Or are they now deep state too?

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  52. @HarvardLaw92: Exactly.

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