A new meta-analysis was recently published in the American Journal of Therapeutics and has concluded that "moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin." Why have journalist been punished by social media fact checkers for presenting science and discussions surrounding the possible effectiveness of Ivermectin?
Working in independent media is not what it used to be. During the beginning of the pandemic we’ve been severely punished by third party Facebook fact-checkers for having discussions about the possible lab-origins of COVID-19. For example, we published an article about Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Boyle drafted the Biological Weapons Act and gave a detailed statement sharing his opinion that COVID-19 originated in a lab, designed as a Biological Warfare Weapon. He claimed that the World Health Organization (WHO) knew about it. All of Boyle’s video interviews at the time were taken off of YouTube, and any article written about him and his beliefs were labelled as “false news” by Facebook. As a result, independent media outlets were demonetized and had social media reach reduced so audiences could not see content. Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.” Get insight into choices we can make now to have a thriving future. Click here to watch now. Fast forward to today, and the lab origin debate has hit the mainstream media after ‘they’ have changed their mind about it being a “conspiracy theory” not worthy of discussion. Now let’s talk about Ivermectin, another highly censored discussion. For over a year you could not write about Ivermectin without being subjected to the wrath of Facebook fact-checkers, unless of course the narrative shared in the article was that Ivermectin is completely useless for treating COVID-19. To be honest, this article may also be flagged as “false”, “misleading” or “missing context” despite the fact that it’s quoting a study that was good enough to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. This is confusing to many, especially journalists because many publications, doctors and scientists have been urging the need to examine the use of Ivermectin to treat patients ill with COVID-19. At the start, we don’t know if something is useful, but when we test and examine results, we can find out. Journalists help share those stories with the world. But instead, that discussion has been completely shut down, censored, and again labelled a “conspiracy theory.” The silver lining is that this censorship alone has served as a catalyst for people to really question what’s going on here. How can we as a society truly examine whether or not something can be useful for COVID-19 if we are not even allowed to discuss it openly and transparently? What type of thinking is leading us to accept this level of censorship? Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source) A new meta-analysis was recently published in the American Journal of Therapeutics states the following: The antiparasitic ivermectin, with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, has now been tested in numerous clinical trials....Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease.
The apparent safety and low cost suggests that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally. This isn’t the first time Ivermectin has been empirically supported. For example, as the meta-analysis points out, a review by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance summarized findings from 27 studies on the effects of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, concluding that ivermectin “demonstrates a strong signal of therapeutic efficacy” against COVID-19. Despite this fact, the National Institutes of Health in the United States is of the opinion that “there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” and the WHO recommends against its use outside of clinical trials. According to Facebook fact checker Health Feedback, There are design flaws and methodological limitations of the clinical studies that support the use of ivermectin against COVID-19... Overall, given the lack of evidence supporting ivermectin’s efficacy and safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend the use of ivermectin for COVID-19.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America also doesn’t recommend the use of ivermectin against COVID-19...On the 22nd of March 2021, the European Medicines Agency released a statement advising against the use of ivermectin for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 outside randomised clinical trials. You can read another review regarding Ivermectin from Health Feedback, here if interested. Yet the authors of the new meta-analysis used the following methods, We searched the reference list of included studies, and of two other 2021 literature reviews of ivermectin, as well as the recent WHO report, which included analysis of ivermectin. We contacted experts in the field (Drs. Andrew Hill, Pierre Kory, and Paul Marik) for information on new and emerging trial data. In addition, all trials registered on clinical trial registries were checked, and trialists of 39 ongoing trials or unclassified studies were contacted to request information on trial status and data where available. Many preprint publications and unpublished articles were identified from the preprint servers MedRxiv and Research Square, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. This is a rapidly expanding evidence base, so the number of trials are increasing quickly. Reasons for exclusion were recorded for all studies excluded after full-text review.... Other key findings from the paper, Meta-analysis of 15 trials, assessing 2438 participants, found that ivermectin reduced the risk of death by an average of 62% (95% CI 27%–81%) compared with no ivermectin treatment [average RR (aRR) 0.38, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.73; I2 5 49%]; risk of death 2.3% versus 7.8% among hospitalized patients in this analysis, respectively (SoF Table 2 and Figure 3).
There is also evidence emerging from countries where ivermectin has been implemented. For example, Peru had a very high death toll from COVID-19 early on in the pandemic.128 Based on observational evidence, the Peruvian government approved ivermectin for use against COVID-19 in May 2020.128 After implementation, death rates in 8 states were reduced between 64% and 91% over a two-month period.128 Another analysis of Peruvian data from 24 states with early ivermectin deployment has reported a drop in excess deaths of 59% at 30+ days and of 75% at 45+ days.
The paper is quite detailed and goes much more in-depth than the summary I have provided. Be sure to review it for more information and if you want a deeper understanding of their findings. It’s also noteworthy to mention that The University of Oxford in the UK has added ivermectin to the Platform Randomised Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE) study for the treatment of Covid-19. PRINCIPLE is a large clinical trial designed to assess potential Covid-19 therapies for non-hospitalised patients, including at-home recovery, who are at higher risk of progressing to serious illness. Ivermectin is broad spectrum antiparasitic used commonly to treat parasitic infections worldwide.
The drug, which is known to exhibit antiviral properties, reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication in laboratory studies. In small pilot studies, early use of ivermectin was able to lower viral load and the duration of symptoms in some mild Covid-19 patients. (source) Ivermectin has not been the only therapeutic to show promise, there have been many others, including intravenous vitamin C, for example. Yet, we’re not allowed to discuss these nor have any scientific discussion about it. In the mainstream these types of treatments have been completely ridiculed.
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