Remember when hydroxychloroquine was the “it girl of the conspiracyverse”—a dubious COVID miracle pill touted by Donald Trump and the Demon Sperm Doc? Those days are over and there’s a new drug blowing up the unhinged corners of Facebook and the internet.
As our Fever Dreams host Asawin Suebsaeng, and guest hosts and Daily Beast reporters Kelly Weill and Adam Rawnsley, discuss, the drug—called ivermectin—is sometimes used by humans for parasites and fungal infections. A few studies have looked at whether it would help with COVID but some have been withdrawn or been criticized for issues, prompting the medical community to call for more research.
Not to be deterred, COVID truther types have been buying up ivermectin like hotcakes and it’s so scarce now that many have turned to a version of the drug used by veterinarians on horses, sheep, and even parrots. (In its animal form, it comes as a horse paste or as a jug of liquid sheep “drench.” Yum.)
Of course, all sorts of former hydroxy grifters, hoaxsters, and false prophets have now glommed onto ivermectin, including the aforementioned Demon Sperm Doc. There are Facebook groups where people disturbingly try to figure out how to dose a person rather than an equine. And, in the darkest twist, Amazon's recommendation engine for ivermectin is recommending you also buy a pulse oximeter, just in case the horse paste doesn’t turn out to be as bulletproof as a vaccine. So, in conclusion, 2021: just as crazy as 2020.
Elsewhere on the podcast, Rawnsley discusses how Russian trolls—not the GRU guys, kind of a clumsier, knockoff version—are trying and failing to make Americans and Europeans believe that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines will turn us into chimpanzees.
Weill walks us through the latest audit clown show down in Virginia, where state Sen. Amanda Chase really hopes you’ll give her $$$$ to re-tally her state’s not-even-close election.
And guest Cameron Joseph, a senior political reporter at Vice News, breaks down the simmering cold war between Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump for control of the Republican Party and its candidates during the midterms. As Joseph notes, there’s a gigantic slate of Republican candidates who are lining up to run in 2022 on the lie that the presidential election was stolen from Trump—a loyalty litmus test the former president is demanding in exchange for his support. Problem is, many of those candidates are too fringe to win in the purple states that will decide control of the Senate. And that could cause big headaches for Mitch as he tries to recapture the majority...