Senator Rand Paul claims 'hatred for Trump' blocking study of ivermectin
First Draft uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. They allow us to recognise users over multiple visits, and to collect basic data about your use of the website. Cookies help us provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. Check our cookie policy to read more. Cookie Policy.

This website is hosted in perpetuity by the Internet Archive.

Rand Paul baselessly claims ‘hatred for Trump’ blocking study of ivermectin

A box of ivermectin photographed in a pharmacy in Paris. (Lafargue Raphael/Reuters)

Over the weekend, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) weighed in again on the debate around ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug that has been baselessly touted as a proven treatment for Covid-19. Paul, who has spoken out against mask and vaccine mandates, along with other public health measures, claimed without evidence that anti-Donald Trump scientists and medical researchers are to blame for the lack of evidence of the drug’s effectiveness against Covid-19.

According to a report in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Paul said during a local town hall meeting in Cold Spring, Kentucky, that “the hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study [ivermectin].” Paul, a former eye doctor, acknowledged that he had no knowledge as to whether ivermectin is effective against Covid-19, but “keeps an open mind.”

Scientists have been studying ivermectin but have yet to find robust evidence to back the drug as a proven Covid-19 treatment. Paul’s comments also echoed what some prominent supporters of pro-ivermectin and anti-vaccine online communities have long baselessly claimed: that special interest groups and social elites have been engaging in a global conspiracy to block the public from learning about the drug.

Although online conversations about ivermectin have been highly politicized, the former president doesn’t appear to have ever encouraged the use of the drug. Trump had baselessly promoted the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment. In April, the World Health Organization carried out a review of six clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine, concluding it “had little or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.”

False or misleading claims about ivermectin have flourished for months as vaccine skeptics and influencers continue to push it as a Covid-19 treatment. Facebook, Reddit and TikTok are reportedly grappling with reams of misinformation about the drug. Demand for ivermectin is also surging — not just in the US — and calls to poison centers are rising.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration warned the public against self-medicating with ivermectin in a viral tweet. The tweet read, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” It linked to a consumer update on the FDA’s website titled, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” — Keenan Chen

This article is from our daily briefing email newsletter. Subscribe for the key stories caught by our monitoring team each day, and be sure to check out our weekly briefing the best misinformation reads.

A roundup of the latest and most important misinformation narratives that you need to know about each day.

A weekly review of the best misinformation reads and talking points from around the world.

News from First Draft and invitations to all of our training and events.