Censorship Kills: The Shunning of a COVID Therapeutic



Doctors fighting COVID-19 should be supported by their profession and their government, not suppressed. Yet today physicians are smothered under a wave of censorship. With coronavirus variants and vaccine hesitancy threatening a prolonged pandemic, the National Institutes of Health and the broader U.S. medical establishment should free doctors to treat this terrible disease with effective medicines. 

For centuries, doctors have addressed emerging health threats by prescribing existing drugs for new uses, observing the results, and communicating to their peers and the public what seems to work. In a pandemic, precious time and lives can be lost by an insistence on excessive data and review. But in the current crisis, many in positions of authority have done just that, stubbornly refusing to allow any repurposed treatments. This departure from traditional medical practice risks catastrophe. When doctors on the front lines try to bring awareness of and use such medicines, they get silenced. 

I’ve experienced such censorship firsthand. Early in the pandemic, my research led me to testify in the Senate that corticosteroids were life-saving against COVID-19, when all national and international health care agencies recommended against them. My recommendations were criticized, ignored and resisted such that I felt forced to resign my faculty position. Only later did a large study from Oxford University find they were indeed life-saving. Overnight, they became the standard of care worldwide. More recently, we identified through dozens of trials that the drug ivermectin leads to large reductions in transmission, mortality, and time to clinical recovery. After testifying to this fact in a second Senate appearance — the video of which was removed by YouTube after garnering over 8 million views — I was forced to leave another position. 

hospital by Naval Surface Warriors is licensed under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

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