Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, exasperatedly called on Americans to please stop ingesting a horse dewormer drug to treat and prevent COVID-19, stating on Sunday that there’s “no evidence whatsoever” that the medication works.
Egged on by right-wing media figures and conservative politicians, Americans who are hesitant to get vaccinated have instead turned to the anti-parasite drug ivermectin—much like hydroxychloroquine last year—as a “miracle” cure for COVID-19. And while studies show that ivermectin provides no benefits as a coronavirus preventative, pharmacies across the country have been besieged with prescriptions for the human-approved version of the drug, creating a shortage.
Unable to get a hold of ivermectin prescriptions, COVID truthers and enthusiasts have taken to raiding rural tractor supply stores in search of ivermectin horse paste, resulting in a substantial increase in calls to poison control centers in states such as Mississippi and Texas. The Food and Drug Administration eventually had to take to Twitter this month to implore Americans to stop ingesting the livestock medication, reminding the public “you are not a horse.”
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Fauci was asked by anchor Jake Tapper if he had a message for any American who was considering taking the “anti-parasite horse drug” to prevent contracting the virus.
“Don’t do it,” the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden exclaimed. “There is no evidence whatsoever that that works.”
Fauci added: “And it could potentially have toxicity, as you just mentioned, with people who have gone to poison control centers because they’ve taken the drug at a ridiculous dose and wind up getting sick. There is no clinical evidence that indicates that this works.”
Tapper also brought up the fact that a number of prominent vaccine skeptics and mask opponents have recently died from COVID-19—some of whom self-treated with ivermectin—and wondered aloud what went through Fauci’s mind when he saw stories like that.
“It’s tragic, because you don’t want to see anybody, regardless of what their position is or their ideology, you don’t want to see anybody get sick and die, particularly as a physician and scientist,” Fauci sighed.
“I do everything in my entire career to safeguard the health of people and to save lives. So even if they have views that I completely disagree with, it’s really a tragedy to see them get sick and dying fundamentally because they’re putting aside and avoiding the public health principles that we talk about all the time,” he concluded.