Ivermectin debunkers debunked

Dr Campbell on ‘that’ BBC News report.

The Covid zombies have been all of a twitter lately, over a couple of BBC News reports.

Most recently, the Beeb, which is a close rival to ‘our’ ABC in its fearless reporting of the catastrophist party line on Covid, report a meta-analysis debunking Ivermectin. Ivermectin is the drug whose widespread use in India’s Covid home treatment kits has coincided with a precipitate drop in that country’s Covid prevalence and morbidity. Unfortunately, despite having been successfully used for many years for the treatment of parasitic infestations in humans, and despite having won its patent-holder Merck a Nobel Prize for Physiology after they supplied it in industrial quantities for the treatment of river-blindness in sub-Saharan Africa, Ivermectin was rendered lethal early in the Covid panic by being recommended by Donald Trump. Since then, the Covid zombies have devoted considerable energy to demonising it and any clinician foolish enough to endorse its use. All respectable health authorities have declined to approve its use for Covid, setting a regulatory bar whose vertiginous height contrasts strikingly with the emergency fast-tracking granted to of a series of vaccines.

Fortunately, we have the excellent Dr John Campbell to assess the quality of the meta-analysis upon which the BBC’s report relies – and it’s not pretty.

He starts with the startling revelation that the lead author, Jack Lawrence, is not, as might be expected, a senior academic at his university, St Georges, London, but a student. Dr Campbell didn’t probe the credentials of Mr Lawrence’s retinue, but had he done so, he would have discovered little to inspire confidence in their work.

  • Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, the next author listed, is a Phd student at Wollongong University. He does, apparently, have a Masters degree in Public Health, and lays claim to being a ‘science communicator’, in which capacity, apparently, he contributes to the Guardian. Nuff said.
  • Next up is someone called James Heathers, who describes himself in his Twitter feed in the following terms: ‘Biosignals, digital health, wearables, meta-science, error detection, noises. Journal ghoul. Washed up meathead. Bylines in Fancy Places.’
  • Next, Nicholas J L Brown, of Linnaeus University, a psychologist whose field seems to be “What’s clinically wrong with the people whose views I disagree with?”
  • Lastly, Kyle Sheldrick, who describes himself thus: ‘Medical doctor (slightly disenchanted with medicine) + researcher. Union proud, healthcare for all. Trying to grow my own organic fruit + vegetables.’ Kyle is another Australian Phd student, who runs an MRI imaging operation in Kogarah, and has a special interest in intervertebral disc degeneration.

But, of course, the fact that none of these authors has distinguished himself in any of the fields of epidemiology, pharmacology or pathology that bear upon the efficacy of treatments for Covid should not stop us from addressing the only important question – are they right? Well, you can judge for yourself by watching Dr Campbell’s podcast in its entirety – suffice to say that Harrumpf wasn’t impressed.

Of course, Ivermectin is now out of patent, so Merck has nothing to gain from testing its efficacy as a treatment or prophylactic for Covid 19. And that brings us neatly to the other BBC News item that is making the rounds of the Covid catastrophists – the report that a new and promising ‘antiviral pill’ is being trialled. An application to the US FDA for an Emergency Use Authorisation has been filed by its makers, who are – you guessed it – Merck.

Well, fancy that!

Tom Forrester-Paton

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