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The Global Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin in COVID-19 (Part I)
The tactics deployed by the pharmaceutical industry in their decades-long war on generic drugs reached a zenith during COVID-19... and have resulted in true crimes against humanity.
Ivermectin, a decades-old, off-patent drug costing pennies to make, with an unparalleled safety profile and numerous manufacturers across the world, actually sits atop one of the largest and strongest clinical trials evidence base in history. The existing, massive amount of clinical trials data shows immense efficacy against COVID-19 in all its phases; prevention, early and late treatment, and long-haul syndrome (no actual trials in long-haul but rather extensive positive clinical experiences). Despite this inarguable (yes, inarguable) supportive evidence, no major Western or international health agency has recommended its use in COVID-19. Conversely, ivermectin has been officially adopted for early treatment in all or part of 23 “less developed” countries (39 if you include non-government medical organizations), and which include about 25% of the world’s population.
Now, before we delve deeper into the workings of the most heinous disinformation campaign ever waged by the pharmaceutical industry in history (and also it’s most successful so far as 75% of the earth’s inhabitants still have not been recommended to use it to treat COVID), I will ask you not to just “take my word for it" but instead take you on a brief, guided tour of the insanely positive evidence base supporting the use of ivermectin in COVID-19.
Let’s go. First, the below “Forest Plot” was compiled by the anonymous expert research group at c19early.com (not enough can be said of the impact their meticulous work has had on COVID clinicians and scientists across the globe). Please visit their site, it is mind-blowingly impressive. The compounds listed in the rows represent the medicines with the most clinical trials evidence as of today, either by size or by number and are listed in order of potency against COVID.
Here is how to read and understand a Forest Plot: there is a thin grey line in the center, on either side of which are plotted squares which represent an estimate of the true size of the “treatment effect,” derived from an average of the treatment effects measured from all the trials performed of that medicine. If the box is squarely on the vertical line it means it is a treatment whose benefits have been found equal to its harms. In the above list, (with the exception of one) medicines with “positive” treatment effects are listed, meaning the benefits of treatment with these agents outweigh any potential or actual harms. No medicine on the list above, besides convalescent plasma (CP), indicates it is inferior to placebo (note that CP was the initial favored therapy of every single academic medical center in the U.S despite the fact CP has only ever been shown to be effective in hematogenous infections). In cases, such as with CP, due to the fact it’s harms outweigh it’s benefits, the box is plotted on the right side of the line and shaded in red. Conversely, the farther to the left of the vertical line that a box is plotted, the larger the measured impact on the clinical outcome tested. Green boxes indicate the effect estimate is based on at least 4 trials. Grey boxes and greyed out medicine names mean the estimate for that medicine is based on fewer than 4 trials. The thin horizontal line through each little box indicates the degree of precision, i.e. how confident we can be in the estimate of the treatment effect - narrow horizontal lines through the boxes mean the data in support is large and consistently positive and is “statistically significant” in favor of the medicine. The wider the line, the less consistent, or less amount of data can be relied upon to make the estimate. When the horizontal line through a box extends across the vertical gray line, this indicates that it is statistically possible that the true estimate may actually be in favor of placebo!
With ivermectin, what sets it apart from all the other compounds tested, is the sheer number of randomized and observational controlled trials that have been performed to date. It is #1 among the “green box” compounds given it has been tested in 73 controlled trials which include an unheard-of 56,804 patients. Why unheard of? Because never in history has a medicine been so thoroughly tested, with such consistent positive results, yet led to a situation where governmental agencies in highly developed countries call for even more placebo-controlled trials to be done.. and then slow walk to doing them. The ethics of giving a covid patient a placebo given this amount of supportive data are too miserable to contemplate this early in the article (fun fact - I was personally asked to try to help recruit patients for the ongoing University of Minnesota placebo controlled RCT. I got off the phone as fast as I could). Another not-so-fun fact: penicillin was mass deployed to great effect to all our troops for their battlefield injuries in World War II.. based on a case series of 157 patients where their bacterial infections overtly resolved without signs of toxicity during treatment. Not one RCT was done before this decision was made by military and medical leaders.
The only other medicine with a larger supportive evidence base is hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), especially when only the early treatment trials of HCQ are considered as that collection of trials results in an equally impressive position on the Forest plot (not shown). A tired topic I will explore later is the much parroted (and highly favored by Pharma) notion that “retrospective, observational controlled trials (OCT)” cannot be trusted as they are inferior to “proper, large, double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trials (RCT).” This notion is not evidence based. Even the captured (I know, sorry) Cochrane Library knows this. They themselves have shown that, on average, over thousands of clinical trials, over decades of research, OCT’s and RCT’s reach the same conclusions. So stop with the false dichotomy. Pharma wants you to only trust in “large RCT’s”.. because they are the only ones with the cash to do them. That way, they can control the only medicines that get “proven” and thus adopted into guidelines.
Two absurdities (crimes) must be highlighted in the above diagram – one is the sheer number of medicines with demonstrated efficacy, most costing under $5 a dose (and almost all with unparalleled safety profiles and/or “over the counter” status) that are still not recommended by any U.S or “western” health agency (with the exception of the state of Florida since the hire of Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo who has put together a terrific public health campaign supporting the use of a combination early treatment protocol which includes another FLCCC adopted drug, fluvoxamine).
Meanwhile our federal governmental health agencies, which I have argued repeatedly (and will for years until it stops) are so completely captured by the pharmaceutical industry that they have not advocated for any one of these “repurposed” compounds, even as a “precautionary principle” (meaning that even if the purported benefits may not be realized to the extent estimated, the risks are so small it is more likely best for all we employ them now in early treatment given the world is cratering). Their most unforgivable and absurd inaction is the deliberate ignoring of the critical role of Vitamin D in protecting against the worst outcomes of COVID, despite knowing full well significant portions of the U.S population is Vitamin D deficient. Even Anthony Fauci recommends to himself that he take Vitamin D… regularly. The data below was given to me by a Dr. Henele and is from work he published in 2016. Note the percent of the U.S population that is critically deficient in Vitamin D.
The second absurdity is found when looking at the plot with only the medicines recommended in the NIH’s COVID protocol circled. Note that the NIH protocol is adhered to by almost the entirety of the country’s hospitals (largely due to large add-on bonuses paid to hospitals when the protocol elements are used - I am not making this up). A “theme” should begin to emerge as you look at the circled, “recommended” medicines vs the non-circled, “non-recommended” medicines - every single one is massively expensive. Every single one. Note not one inexpensive drug is circled. How much more evidence do you need to prove that our agencies have been completely captured by the pharmaceutical industry?
Fun fact now that you are en expert in reading Forest Plot’s: Merck’s mutagenic new drug molnupiravir, after the highly positive results from their study’s “interim analysis,” published in a press release, instead found that, in the 2nd half of its one study, the data favored… placebo. Thus if the 2nd half was a stand-alone study (which it arguably could have been) it’s box would be firmly on the right side of the line. FDA still approved… while feigning concern. Unsurprising really.
Now, beyond the above 73 controlled trials supporting ivermectin, there are, in addition, numerous health ministries from around the world that deployed ivermectin in either the prevention or early treatment of COVID, among often very large populations. Each program’s report found that ivermectin use led to massive reductions in the need for hospitalization and/or death (Mexico City, Uttar Pradesh, Brazil, Misiones, La Pampas, Peru, Phillipines, and Japan - I will do a deeper dive on these in a later post). The program in the city of Itajai, Brazil is both the largest study of ivermectin in the world (data from nearly 200,000 patients was carefully collected over a 6 month period) and most impressive. They found that, despite the fact that the 120,000 patients who agreed to take ivermectin every 15 days were older, fatter, and sicker than the approximately 37,000 that did not...they went to hospital 67% less frequently, and died 70% less frequently.. from all causes, not just COVID. The issue with ivermectin as a therapeutic in COVID.. has NOTHING to do with the science.
The issue with ivermectin is simply it’s price - it costs less than a $1 and represents the biggest threat to the immense and future profits of the pharmaceutical industry’s novel oral anti-viral drugs… as well as their vaccines.
The previous title holder of the largest threat to Pharma profits in COVID was the highly effective (and also anti-viral) drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). However, it lost that title after the 2020 war on HCQ was essentially won by Pharma (for now?), using tactics so sinister as to be unimaginable, and which I will not review here as that macabre war has already been expertly reviewed in incredible and highly referenced detail in the book “The Real Anthony Fauci” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. His book, in my opinion, is a must read for all the globe’s citizens, as without it, no coherent understanding of the innumerable non-scientific actions and policies across the entirety of the developed (and majority of the undeveloped) world can be gained.
I must emphasize that ivermectin is just the latest drug under attack during Pharma’s long-standing (and highly successful) war on off-patent, “no-longer-obscenely-profitable” medicines. Books have been written about the numerous, and often criminal actions that Big Pharma has employed to replace older off-patent medicines with newer, highly profitable, and often poorly tested drugs with either prospectively known dangers or quickly discovered dangers which they then criminally suppress or distort to preserve profits. When science supporting older, off-patent, often “repurposed” medicines (particularly in the lucrative environment of a global pandemic) becomes “inconvenient” to the financial promise of newer agents, the industry employs what are called “Disinformation” tactics, first invented and perfected by the Tobacco Industry, and now used to great effect by the Pharmaceutical (and many other) industries. These tactics are brilliantly and succinctly summarized in an article called The Disinformation Playbook written by The Union for Concerned Scientists. I encourage all to read. The 5 main “plays” from the playbook are listed below. If you are at all versed in the ivermectin in COVID saga (many FLCCC followers are), it should be easy to quickly come up with numerous examples of each nefarious tactic. I give some hints below..
1) The “Fake”: Conduct counterfeit science and try to pass it off as legitimate research (Dr. Andrew Hill)
2) The “Blitz”: Harass scientists who speak out with results or views inconvenient for industry (attacks on FLCCC founders)
3) The “Diversion”: Manufacture uncertainty about science where little or none exists (Dr. Andrew Hill/captured high-impact journals)
4) The “Screen”: Buy credibility through alliances with academia or professional societies (i.e. high impact medical journal influences)
5) The “Fix”: Manipulate government officials or processes to inappropriately influence policy (i.e. capture the health agencies by creating “revolving doors” between Pharma and government to ensure total synchrony in objectives amongst their leaders)
Given the Disinformation Playbook was last updated in 2018, it does not include newer, more nefarious tactics that industries have been able to deploy since the historic consolidation of financial power by just 3 multi-trillion dollar investment funds (Black Rock, State Street, and Vanguard). These three corporations have now acquired influential or outright controlling investment stakes in nearly every major corporation in nearly every industry. These investment managers power, particularly the power held synchronously over media companies, social media companies, and the near entirety of the pharmaceutical industry, has allowed even more fearsome tactics to be used in the near-global suppression of the efficacy of ivermectin (and HCQ) as they now:
1) CENSOR any mentions of supportive evidence in corporate, (a.k.a. “legacy”) media. Note that, besides the influence of these investment manager overlords, the global censoring ability of media was greatly helped by the “Trusted News Initiative (TNI),” an obscene (and either naively misguided or completely corrupt) effort by the most powerful journalism organizations in the world to band together to try to control the spread of “mis-information”. Yes, professional journalists decided they needed to control information in a pandemic. I am not making this up. Would an appropriate analogy be that a bunch of physician leaders decided they needed to spread disease in a pandemic?
2) CENSOR any mentions or discussions of efficacy on almost all social media - see explicit youtube “community” policy below as the most unsubtle example:
YOUTUBE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES
3) RETRACT positive papers from impactful medical journals (3 fully peer-reviewed and highly supportive scientific reviews of ivermectin have been retracted, either immediately prior to or post-publication (I was the lead author on the first one with my FLCCC colleagues)
4) BLOCK review and publication of positive trials of ivermectin in major medical journals (in my now global network of ivermectin-expert and/or ivermectin study investigator colleagues, all lament how their positive clinical trials or papers were rejected for review from all the high-impact (captured) journals, with Dr. Eli Schwartz’s highly sophisticated, expertly conducted, and immensely positive study from Israel being one of the most illustrative examples
5)PUBLISH numerous “hit pieces” within high profile print media outlets discrediting the science and/or the scientists who support the medicine. This is actually an example of the already described “Blitz” tactic, but in 2021, during COVID, using total media control, it was deployed by a division of Howitzers. A more recent and relatable example of “the Diversion” tactic was when the NFL used media hit pieces to go after the scientists (and their inconvenient science) after they began publishing and disseminating data about the high rates and disastrous impacts of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in retired NFL players.
What I have found fascinating, is that for every planted hit piece article discrediting the mountain of evidence supporting ivermectin as a therapeutic, the FLCCC is actually rarely mentioned. But why? I think it is because the FLCCC is a sizeable group of highly published physicians and researchers (Professor Paul Marik is actually the most published practicing ICU physician in the history of the specialty). Thus, it’s hard (but not impossible) to call us “fringe.” The last thing they want to do is call attention to our high degree of credibility. Instead they seem to be trying to destroy it using separate hit pieces (among other tactics) which has led to the recent loss of employment for three founding FLCCC members (Drs. Marik, Meduri, and yours truly have been forced to leave jobs or had their exemplary clinical and research careers ended (Drs. Marik and Meduri). An article on ivermectin that does not mention our organization does so purposefully so as not to give attention to credible support for its use given we are considered the foremost clinical experts on the clinical use of ivermectin in COVID in the world.
6) employ a coordinated media-government agency PROPAGANDA campaign;
August 26th, 2021: Pharma used their CDC to send out a “health advisory” to all 50 state Departments of Health, which they then sent to all the physicians licensed in their respective states (a terrifying example of the immense destructive power of a federal agency captured by pharmaceutical industry interests). The bulletin both;
1) depicted ivermectin as a dangerous drug by deliberately exaggerating reports of calls to poison control centers
2) cited the meaningless fact that it “is not FDA approved for COVID” as a reason it should not be used, hoping doctors may not realize that “off-label” prescribing is both legal and encouraged.. by the FDA.
Next, a quickly debunked (not quickly enough) planted media article in Rolling Stone appeared with an impressively click-bait-able headline describing emergency rooms so overflowing with ivermectin overdoses that our nation’s gunshot victims couldn’t get (obviously) needed care (even I clicked on it). The article then went viral across the world (thousands of media mentions) before the hospital could put out a statement saying it was 100% false. Gee, do you think Pharma hired a professional PR firm to pull that one off or did they just benefit from a serendipitous and lamentably lazy journalist’s error?
Then, in another terrifying example of the control of major corporate media.. for week after week every news broadcaster, pundit, and late-night talk show host prefaced the word ivermectin with the descriptor “horse de-wormer.” Over and over and over again (totally pissing off Joe Rogan who recovered from COVID with ivermectin as part of his combination protocol- hah!)
Then finally, in a coup de grace, in comes Pharma’s FDA proudly using twitter to associate ivermectin with, you guessed it, horses. Janet Woodcock, the acting Commissioner of the FDA, even sent out a congratulatory email to her team about the success of the tweet.
Was this a coordinated attack led by an expert team of brazen PR professionals who have a fondness for horses… or did it arise organically via a series of disconnected events?
If you are still not convinced of the former, I need to point out that this “series of disconnected events” had an uncanny sense of when to “roll-out.” The CDC’s Health Advisory was issued on August 26th. Look at the below chart and see if you can find any reason why it would start then? Recall that the advisory was ostensibly in reaction to false “reports of calls to poison control centers”. The below chart shows instead what was really going on at the time - hundreds, if not thousands of licensed medical professionals across the country were prescribing ivermectin like mad during the terrible, and deadly summer surge of the Delta variant. Was someone getting nervous that a “dirty little secret” was being rapidly discovered by American citizens and physicians? The answer is a definitive yes - thus triggering Pharma to nefariously try to “stuff the genie back in the bottle” by unleashing their terrifying disinformation propaganda campaign.
NUMBER OF IVERMECTIN PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED IN THE U.S OVER TIME
But check this out.. the good ole’ FLCCC, my little band of brothers and sisters, is somehow making a opening in the wall of information suppression and distortion as shown in the chart below (compiled by our data analyst and ivermectin expert, Juan Chamie). I say this makes us “the Bad News Bears” in the repurposed drug war.
I am going to stop here.. and call it PART I. There is way way more to this story. so stay tuned.
P.S I just want to say how much I appreciate all the subscribers to my substack, and especially the paid ones! Your support is so greatly appreciated. Thanks my friends.