Ivermectin: Censorship and Covid
This article is about suppression of free speech and censorship. Prior to 2020 academics - especially clinicians - would openly debate and discuss the merits of different pharmaceutical and medical interventions to treat illness. With Covid, that ended. Suddenly. The suppression of free speech has accompanied unparalleled state intervention, fear-driven propaganda and social coercion. And the degree of corporate and media involvement in the suppression of free speech, and dissemination of an "approved narrative," has taken many of us by surprise. We're happy to publish this article by Josh Hamilton on how the Ivermectin story has been systematically suppressed. A version of this article was originally published on Josh's own website (link at the bottom).
There was a PHD of evolutionary biology, who in April of 2020, was saying, calmly, that the genome of covid-19 looked suspiciously like it had been modified or engineered in a laboratory. Despite no evidence to suggest that this was patently false, and a long line of coincidences to suggest that the lab leak theory was, at the very least, plausible - this was dismissed out of hand by the mainstream media. His name was Dr. Bret Weinstein, who discussed this theory openly and frequently with his wife, Dr Heather Heying, on their Dark Horse podcast and on other shows hosted by Joe Rogan and Bill Maher.
We now know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a level 4 biosafety laboratory, was working on “gain of function” research on how coronaviruses jump from species to species. Sky News Australia has even revealed that labs were working on live bats around the beginning of the pandemic. This was being funded by the NIH and the US government (either knowingly or unknowingly) through a group called Ecohealth Alliance. This kind of research was banned by the Obama administration and this funnelling of funding through Ecohealth circumvented the ban. The President of Ecohealth Alliance, was then hired to lead the task-force into whether covid-19 had leaked from a lab. Although Daszak declared in The Lancet that he has “no competing interests” on Covid-19.
Despite Dr Weinstein’s credentials and his calm and considered presentation of the evidence, he was labelled by some as a conspiracy theorist along with anyone who chose to suggest that the lab leak was a very plausible theory for the origin of covid. It turns out the theory was racist as well - “Baseless accusations of Chinese culpability for the virus have already fueled xenophobia and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area and across the country.”
Regardless of how accurate the theory might be, the crucial point to note here is that our media institutions have taken it upon themselves to become the arbiters of truth - to arrogantly decide that they know best. Anything outside of the mainstream is a conspiracy theory or misinformation, until they decide it is not. The glass, on this occasion, was shattered by the appearance of John Stewart on Stephen Colbert's show and suddenly it was a plausible theory again.
So the truth has come to light, isn’t that what the system is meant to do? Unfortunately no. The point of the media was never to censor, rather it was to inform and challenge the status quo, not help prop it up. This theory being suppressed and dismissed for so long may not have caused much measurable real-world harm beyond the loss of mainstream recognition for any public figure or scientist who chose to pursue this theory, but that does not mean that censorship is harmless. There is, as Bret Weinstein himself said on his latest appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, no scenario is which censorship is for the ultimate good of civilization and society. The censors and book burners of history are never the heroes.
The mainstream media was wrong, the fact-checkers were wrong, and the people who were right had their reputations tarnished with no apology; yet the people who were wrong remain unassailable as our keepers of the truth. I do often wonder when the mainstream will lose all credibility. They can be wrong time and time again, and yet we still believe them to be correct when they label someone as a conspiracy theorist or remove their content from YouTube.
Bret Weinstein has lost much of his income provided by YouTube adverts as they have demonetised all of his content. Interestingly they are still advertising on his videos, so there is no issue from advertisers. This may not be total censorship, but it is implicitly pushing us all towards a place where we dare not speak the wrong words, lest the ad money be stripped from us by the gods of Silicon Valley.
Which brings us to Ivermectin.
Bret Weinstein hosted Dr Pierre Kory on his podcast to discuss the drug Ivermectin. Here are just some of his credentials:
Pierre Kory is the former Chief of the Critical Care Service and Medical Director of the Trauma and Life Support Center at the University of Wisconsin. He is considered one of the world pioneers in the use of ultrasound by physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of critically ill patients.
Dr. Kory was also one of the U.S. pioneers in the research, development, and teaching of performing therapeutic hypothermia to treat post-cardiac arrest patients. In 2005, his hospital was the first in New York City to begin regularly treating patients with therapeutic hypothermia. He has won numerous departmental and divisional teaching awards in every hospital he has worked. He has delivered hundreds of courses and invited lectures throughout his career.
Dr. Kory has led ICU’s in multiple COVID-19 hotspots throughout the pandemic. Having led his old ICU in New York City during their initial surge in May for 5 straight weeks, he then travelled to other COVID-19 hotspots to run COVID ICU’s in Greenville, South Carolina and Milwaukee, WI during their surges. He has co-authored 5 influential papers on COVID-19, with the most impactful being a paper that was the first to support the diagnosis of early COVID-19 respiratory disease as an organizing pneumonia, thus explaining the critical response of the disease to corticosteroids.
In this discussion they closely and thoroughly examined the evidence that Ivermectin could be the final tool we need to defeat covid-19.
The podcast was quickly removed from YouTube, citing spam or misleading practices. Ivermectin itself is mentioned in the YouTube community guidelines as being forbidden to discuss as a treatment for Covid (that alone for me is a “what the fuck?” moment). Who are YouTube, the video-hosting platform, to decide they have more expertise than two clinicians - one of whom literally worked and treated covid-19 patients on the front line and pioneered the treatments that we use to this day to treat covid in hospitals. How on earth can we pretend we exist in a free and open society when doctors are silenced for discussing medicine?
The drug has shown in a number of trials that it has remarkable efficacy in treating Covid, especially in the early stages, and as a preventative measure - in other words as a prophylactic. There are even studies suggesting its efficacy against long covid and post-vaccine syndromes, though further research is required here.
Dr Kory thought that when he assembled the evidence towards the end of last year that this drug was proving incredibly effective when it was administered en masse in countries like Mexico, India, and Peru and in studies in other countries with large and small sample sizes. One study of frontline health workers found that not a single one of over 700 who participated in a trial of ivermectin contracted covid-19.
Weinstein suggested on the Lex Fridman Show that this may well be a case of an auto-pilot gone wrong. YouTube are forced to use an algorithm to scan videos to track and monitor content. They have to deal with an unfathomable amount of information, though that does not excuse them. There is a high likelihood that the censors at YouTube are doing this to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation, but, in their hubris, they have decided that in pursuit of this goal, it is acceptable to censor those who discuss issues like this honestly and in good faith - those who are actually qualified (even by YouTube’s standards) to discuss this.
If the drug is even half as effective as some of the studies have shown, then the censorship of discussion about this drug is the most egregious form of authoritarianism that I can imagine. It is negligent man-slaughter on a global scale, perpetrated by those who claim to fact-check and censor with (they claim) our best interests at heart.
These are the folks who over the past year have told you that the lab leak theory was a racist conspiracy theory - until it wasn’t, the Great Reset was a conspiracy theory - until it wasn’t, and that vaccine passports were a conspiracy theory - until they weren’t. The official line is that vaccines are the way to freedom and a return to normal life, so anything that promotes an alternative narrative is dangerous to that goal - it puts the entire project at risk. Therefore, Bret Weinstein, Dr Kory and co. cannot be allowed to propose that there may be an alternative treatment - as that may reduce people's willingness to get the vaccine and defeat the effort to drive Covid-19 to extinction.
There is also a quiet suggestion that, if there was a safe and effective treatment that had already been approved by medical agencies around the world, it would have been impossible to get the emergency approvals needed to administer the vaccines.
When Dr Tess Lawrie from the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group (BIRD) group - a grassroots initiative bringing together clinicians, health researchers and patient representatives from around the world to advocate for the use of ivermectin against covid-19 - attempted to post on LinkedIn about her meta-analysis of 15 studies on the effectiveness of Ivermectin, the link was forbidden to be posted. Dr Lawrie has also been removed from Twitter after her analysis of adverse effects of vaccines from publicly available data.
She was not allowed to post as there is no evidence that Ivermectin is an effective treatment for Covid-19 - therefore one cannot post evidence that Ivermectin might be effective. You may not post evidence, because there is no evidence. This kind of logic is both dangerous and highly disturbing to anyone concerned with free and open debate. If there is a drug that might work, that doctors who are using it say it works, then we need to have an open and in-depth discussion about the evidence. Not shut down any conversation as there is not enough evidence.
Tim Pool, who is famously derided for sitting on the fence on many issues, simply mentioned that a new Ivermectin study from Oxford University was showing promising results. For that egregious relaying of the facts, Tim’s channel was served with this warning.
This drug is not patented and is cheap to produce (some estimates have it costing $1-2 per treatment), it’s been administered worldwide over 4 billion times and has been shown across numerous studies to be effective against Covid. This could literally be our salvation - we have the final nail in the Covid coffin - this might be the chance to defeat Covid and fulfil even the deepest desires of the zero Covid zealots.
But, instead, for whatever reason, our system is trying every way to shut down discussion about it. Vaccines are the only way out, apprently. The only drug which is acceptable to discuss is the patented and expensive drug, Remdesivir (which costs £1900 ($3000) for a 5 day treatment). Best of all, whilst doctors are screaming about Ivermectin, the U.S. and Dr Fauci are shutting their eyes so tight, they’ve decided to invest $3.2 billion in a search for new anti-viral drugs.
It does not surprise me that much that our system has chosen this path - regardless of whether it is malice, greed, or incompetence (perhaps a mixture of both). For too long our system has failed to do what is best for society and focused solely on what is best for the wealthy. When lockdowns are profitable for the biggest corporations in the world, it makes sense that our governments support them. When vaccines (utilising a brand new piece of technology with no long term safety data and for which the manufacturers are exempt from liability) are more profitable than an already tested drug - it makes sense that is what the system will support. When outsourcing our healthcare services in Britain to private companies proves far less effective, but more profitable, of course the system chooses that option. It’s because profit is king - it comes above truth, public health, and the prosperity of society as a whole. This is unfortunately the reality we live in. If you think the current crop of politicians on either side of the Atlantic actually care about the people and not just their votes (save for a rare few) - you’re sadly mistaken.
Some people in Britain and America have decried the lack of action from their governments, claiming that tens, if not hundreds of thousands of deaths, could have been prevented had we simply locked down sooner. Yet these same people are utterly silent on the fact that since last year we have had a drug that has been shown time and again to be incredibly effective at treating Covid, especially when catching it early. The fact that discussion of this drug has been so heavily censored is criminal - had a free and open discussion about it been possible, there are equally tens of thousands of people who might have been saved in the UK or US alone - millions if we consider the global figures.
Censorship has quite literally killed people. If one life could have been saved by this drug, isn’t it worth discussing? Censorship is a horrifying practice and one that I used to believe we as a society abhorred. Instead, through fear and trauma of a year of pandemic and lockdowns we’ve been rail-roaded into believing censorship is for our own good. It is not. It never is. It never will be. I only hope enough of us realise this in time.
By Josh Hamilton. Editor at https://thejist.co.uk and Host of Chatter