The two who died — at 38 and 79 years old — had Covid-19 and had taken ivermectin instead of proven treatments like monoclonal antibodies, said Dr. David R. Scrase, the acting head of the state health department. He said the drug had contributed to both deaths, causing kidney failure in one of the patients.
Federal health authorities have repeatedly warned Covid patients not to take the drug, which is an anti-parasite medication most commonly used in the United States on livestock and, in smaller doses, to treat head lice in people. But those warnings have done little to curb the drug’s popularity in parts of the United States.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 1,440 cases of ivermectin poisoning this year through Sept. 20, which is more than triple the number during the same period in 2019 and 2020. A majority of this year’s reports came over the summer as people sought prescriptions after false claims about the drug’s effectiveness in Covid patients started to circulate on social media, podcasts and talk radio. Joe Rogan, the podcasting giant, and Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist, have both promoted the drug.
Ben Garrison, the MAGA world cartoonist who has posted a load of anti-vax propaganda during the pandemic, says he’s come down with a bad case of COVID—and is turning to beet juice to save himself.
“We’re taking Ivermectin and various vitamins including a lot of zinc,” Garrison said, who also revealed that he’s been guzzling beet juice.