By Art Moore
A bill in the Virginia state Senate that would have allowed health-care providers to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine was blocked by Democrats after they shut down a public comment session and ordered state Capitol police officers to remove citizens from the chamber.
As the Democratic majority on the Senate Education and Health Committee moved to kill the Republican bill, Democratic committee Chairwoman Sen. Louise Lucas cut the remote audio feed of Charlottesville radio-show host Rob Schilling as he expressed support for the legislation, reported the National File.
After using up all their time for 2 speakers, Senator Louise Lucas calls on people oppositing the bill from the online Zoom call. She informs someone asking to speak in support that his time is up. pic.twitter.com/v2AndBGqod
— Goad Gatsby (@GoadGatsby) January 20, 2022
After the 9-6 party-line vote, Lucas banged her gavel and ordered police officers to remove the doctors, family members of COVID patients and others who came to speak in favor of the bill.
“Virginians are dying,” a woman who was ordered to leave shouted.
Holding up a copy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s book “The Real Anthony Fauci,” she said of the the White House coronavirus adviser who has suppressed the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, “People across this nation are dying as a result of this man.”
Another woman shouted, “Tyrants!” as she and others were kicked out.
The sponsor of the bill, Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase, told National File that Democrats “will legalize marijuana but prohibit the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID in a right to try state like Virginia.”
“If Virginians are going to be given the right to try marijuana, then give them the right to try life-saving ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine,” she said.
The National File noted that after the vote, the committee chairman, Lucas, posted a video on Twitter in which she vowed to form a Democratic “brick wall” that will throw Republican bills in the trash. She illustrated her declaration by crumpling up a piece of paper and tossing it aside.
As President of the Virginia Senate I have a plan of what to do with any bills that would roll back our progress.
As a thank you for getting us to *27,000* engaged followers I want to share with you my plan- If you agree with the plan I need you to RT so we can save Virginia. pic.twitter.com/w7gRzk1PCa
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) January 20, 2022
One of the doctors who would have been immediately impacted by the legislation is Dr. Paul Marik of Eastern Virginia Medical School, who is suing a Norfolk hospital for banning him from prescribing ivermectin to his COVID-19 patients.
His lawsuit argues Virginia’s Advanced Directive statute gives hospitalized patients the right to choose what treatment they receive as long as a doctor determines it to be appropriate.
Marik told local WAVY-TV that the issue is bigger than one particular drug.
“This is not about ivermectin. This is about the bedside doctor being able to do what doctors have been doing for decades, and what doctors do across the world,” he said. “Doctors decide what is the best treatment for their patients, and they alone are responsible for the patient and the treatment of the patient.”
He said ivermectin is among other “safe off-label drugs that they are prohibiting me from using.”
In fact, ivermectin is the second drug listed – under the highly touted, expensive COVID-19 drug with many side effects, remdesivir – on the NIH page, which is titled “Antiviral Agents That Are Approved or Under Evaluation for the Treatment of COVID-19.”
Marik was a co-author of a peer-reviewed study published in February by the American Journal of Therapeutics that found that ivermectin reduces coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.
Ivermectin, in more than 30 trials around the world, causes “repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease,” according to the study.
The evidence is so strong, the researchers believe, the anti-parasitic drug should become a standard therapy everywhere, hastening global recovery.
Marik said at the time that the data are “overwhelming.”
“We are in a pandemic, and this is an incredibly effective way to combat it,” he said. “If we use ivermectin widely, our societies can open up.”
Marik is a founding member of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a team of doctors that formed at the beginning of the pandemic to develop protocols to treat COVID-19 patients.
He developed a protocol to treat septic shock that became the basis for a COVID-19 treatment developed by FLCCC co-founder Dr. Pierre Kory, who testified of its effectiveness to a U.S. Senate committee.
Ivermectin is approved by the FDA for other treatments and has been successfully used off-label for COVID-19 patients. From 10% to 20% of all prescribed drugs are used off-label. Ivermectin has been shown to be effective as a preventative and early- and late-stage treatment in 130 studies, with 84 peer-reviewed, including 66 with results comparing treatment and control groups. Studies have demonstrated its ability to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 as well as its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
But many pharmacists and doctors, along with Marik, have disclosed that health-care management is barring them from prescribing ivermectin. And the drug was the target of a media and government disinformation campaign, dismissing it disingenuously as “horse dewormer.” The FDA’s official Twitter account posted a caption above a photo of a horse: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
NIH points out on its “antiviral agents” page that among the serious side effects seen in patients who take remdesivir are severe renal failure and liver damage. Ivermectin, on the other hand, is “generally well tolerated.” The World Health Organization, in November 2020, recommended against the use of remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The WHO said at the time that there was “no evidence that remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes in these patients.”
Meanwhile, ivermectin, whose inventors won a Nobel Prize, has a better safety record than several vitamins, with an average of only 160 adverse events reported every year. It has been safely administered several billion times around the world, virtually eradicating diseases such as river blindness in Africa.
The ivermectin side effects observed, according to the NIH, include “dizziness”; “pruritis,” which is an irritating sensation that creates an urge to scratch; nausea and diarrhea. The NIH said unspecified “neurological” adverse effects have been seen in the treatment of parasitic disease, but it’s unclear if they are connected to the drug or to the underlying conditions.
In September, more than 8,600 scientists and physicians from around the world signed a declaration condemning public policy makers of “crimes against humanity” for restricting life-saving treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine while quashing debate and scientific inquiry.
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