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The FDA Is Warning People Not to Take Horse Dewormer to Fight COVID-19 Because We Live in the Dumbest Timeline

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The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against using ivermectin — a veterinary drug used in livestock to deworm cows and horses- to treat or prevent COVID-19 in humans. Because that is where we are at as a society. Instead of getting a free and readily available vaccine that is proven to save lives and prevent the worst symptoms of the disease, a drug that hundreds of millions across the globe have taken with the mildest of side effects, people are turning to conspiracy theories about drugs unfit for human consumption.

The FDA tweeted, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” along with a FAQ answering all your burning ivermectin/COVID-19 questions.

The FDA’s tweet came in response to an uptick in calls to Mississippi’s poison control center, where residents are apparently gobbling up the deworming drug as COVID-19 ravages their state. It’s reported that at least 70% of recent calls to poison control were due to people ingesting ivermectin they’ve been buying in bulk at livestock supply stores.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said during a press briefing, “I think some people are trying to use it as a [COVID-19] preventative, which I think is really kind of crazy, so please don’t do that,” adding “You wouldn’t get your chemotherapy at a feed store. I mean, you wouldn’t treat your pneumonia with your animal’s medication, … It can be dangerous to get the wrong doses of medication, especially for something that’s meant for a horse or a cow. We understand the environment we live in, but it’s really important, if people have medical needs, go through your physician or provider.”

Ivermectin is used in humans for a variety of reasons caused by parasitic infections, but they have zero virus-fighting capability. And yet, people are desperately seeking to poison themselves as opposed to taking commonsense measures like wearing masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated.

The blame, as always, falls on FOX News and other right-wing outlets willfully spreading misinformation to their viewers. Hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson have all touted the drug in this series of clips that appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show (she starts discussing it at 11:43):

This is one small chapter in the ongoing saga of COVID denial and derangement. I wish I could say I was shocked by this, but the fervor of anti-vaxxers truly defies all logic and understanding. Donald Trump held a rally in Alabama this weekend, where he encouraged his fans to get vaccinated – and was met with a chorus of boos.

If Trump himself can’t convince his followers to get vaxxed, and 630k deaths can’t convince them, then these people are truly lost. It’s not new information, but it’s disheartening nonetheless.

(via HuffPost, image: Allstar/20th Century Fox/Van Redin)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.