To hear the fringe doctors who gathered at an equine facility for the Florida COVID Summit earlier this month, ivermectin is as effective against the virus in humans as it is against worms in horses.
“I have been on ivermectin for 16 months, my wife and I,” Dr. Bruce Boros declared at the end of the meeting at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala. “I have never felt healthier in my life.”
Two days later, the 71-year-old cardiologist fell ill with COVID-19, according to the organizer of the one-day gathering and two other people with direct knowledge.
The organizer, Dr. John Littell, further reported to The Daily Beast that six others among the 800 to 900 participants had also tested positive or developed COVID symptoms “within days of the conference.”
“People are considering if it was a superspreader event,” Littell said.
In the next breath, he dismissed the very thought with an emphatic “No.”
Littell conveniently decided that those with COVID were already infected when they arrived at the summit, where no masks or social distancing were in evidence.
“I think they had gotten it from New York or Michigan or wherever they were from,” he said. “It was really the people who flew in from other places.”
Littell added, “Everybody so far has responded to treatment with ivermectin… Bruce is doing well.”
Boros remained seriously ill at his Key West home, according to people who know him but who asked not to be identified. Boros himself did not respond to phone messages and emails.
However Boros is faring, there remains the question of why he became seriously ill in the first place if ivermectin is the wonder drug the anti-vaccine crowd claims it is, rather than primarily a treatment for parasites and head lice in humans, as well as a horse dewormer. He had been taking the drug since the summer of last year for what he described as a personal research project.
“I hope to proceed with my ivermectin observational study quickly,” he announced in a July 28, 2020, Facebook post. “It’s working where it’s being used around the world.”
He proceeded from that falsehood to some incendiary MAGA nonsense:
“Fauci is a fraud—big pharma is playing us for suckers. Dr. Boros.”
His hometown newspaper reported that the post by “one of the Keys’ most recognized doctors” caused “a Category 5 social media storm.”
Much of the reaction was negative.
“It breaks my heart that a town like this has made something so political and hateful,” Boros told Florida Keys Weekly. “What’s wrong with people? I just want to help patients and keep them from dying.”
He reported administering ivermectin to a man battling COVID.
“Within six hours he was talking without coughing,” Boros was quoted saying.
Medical authorities say there is no evidence the drug protects or cures COVID. The FDA and the CDC warn that it could, in fact, be dangerous. The FDA famously tweeted this year: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
But Boros has remained so convinced of the drug’s value that he put his 97-year-old father, Carl Arfa, on it along with himself. His father, sensibly, then decided to get something proven to work against COVID: the vaccine.
“He had been brainwashed,” Boros said at the summit. He recalled, “He got it. He didn’t tell me. I was very upset. I wanted to give him a spanking. He got both jabs.”
Arfa caught the virus, which officials say is still spreading because so many people refused to get the vaccine. While the shot has proven to prevent serious illness and death in the overwhelming majority of those who get infected, Arfa—like some elderly patients or those with underlying health problems—became critically ill from COVID.
He fought on as might be expected of a World War II vet who received a Bronze Star with the 271st Anti-Tank Regiment of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division and helped liberate a concentration camp in Leipzig. Boros repeatedly made the four-hour drive from Key West to the father’s home in Boca Raton, administering intravenously whatever fluids he thought best. Boros last saw him on Nov. 1. The father finally lost his fight with the virus five days later, hours before Boros attended the summit.
“My father passed away this morning from complications of COVID,” he told the gathering.
Boros wondered aloud whether he had made a mistake when he took his father off ivermectin following the jab.
“I feel a little guilty,” he allowed.
He was so lost in untruth that he suggested the vaccine had actually contributed to his father’s death.
“We’re seeing astronomical numbers of deaths in people that have been vaccinated, particularly the older people,” he said.
There is no evidence the vaccine is unsafe, but the vast majority of those now dying from COVID are unvaccinated. CDC data released on Monday indicates that the unvaccinated have a six times greater chance of becoming infected with COVID and a 14 times greater chance of dying than those who got the shot. The CDC says flatly that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” adding, “Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”
But such truths are too inconvenient among the fringe doctors who place their faith in unproven ivermectin. The summit’s organizer, Littell, told The Daily Beast that he has prescribed ivermectin to some 2,000 people, all over the country, with what he describes as good results.
“I’ve had one or two people who didn’t really respond,” he said. “Some people just don’t do well with a bad virus.”
He said that all the attendees at the summit appeared fine when they arrived and when they departed. “The people who came were in good condition to travel,” he said.
But the Florida Department of Public Health in Marion County, which oversees Ocala, did not respond to a request for comment about the new cases that cropped up after a meeting at an equestrian center full of fringe physicians who had plenty of horse dewormer, but not an ounce of horse sense.