Editor's note: This article makes claims about the drug Ivermectin being used as a treatment for COVID-19.
The Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment states that "While some lab studies have shown ivermectin to be a promising treatment, it’s hard to know how well ivermectin works in patients because the included studies were not done well (i.e., they were of low quality). This report did not find any evidence on cost-effectiveness or any relevant guidelines."
The Government of Canada instructs "Do not use veterinary ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. If you have purchased ivermectin for this purpose, discard it immediately. Consult a healthcare professional if you have used this product and have health concerns."
The American Journal of Therapeutics writes that: "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 suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally."
The US Food and Drug Administration writes that: "The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. "Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing."
I recently had a worthwhile email exchange with a good friend, regarding the new Covid vaccines.
According to my friend, the vax works; the health aspects are proven; everybody should get it; the vast majority of really sick people are not vaccinated; those who have had Covid should still get the vax (though they might need only one shot, not two); vaccination prevents not just illness in individuals but also prevent the virus spreading through all of society; natural immunity does not protect individuals (or the population) as much as the vaccine.
I have little doubt that my friend could locate medical and scientific reports to support his case, just as one can also find credible doctors and scientists who strongly disagree with all of the assertions in the paragraph above.
My friend and I have very different takes on what the facts are. I think this stems, in large part, from having very different levels of trust in government, at least on the issue of how to respond to Covid.
In March of 2020, I started out by trusting the government, when politicians and government medical officials said we needed two weeks to flatten the curve. Of course we cannot stop a virus from spreading throughout society, they admitted, but this is "just" managing the speed of the spread, to prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed. This seemed reasonable and I agreed.
Soon the government's narrative changed radically: our goal became a permanent quest to "stop the spread" or "slow the spread," with no end in sight. Suddenly, our politicians pretended that it is actually possible to stop a virus from spreading by using lockdowns, when there is no evidence that this has ever worked, in any society or country, at any time in recorded history.
Politicians redefined "public health" to mean only "not catching Covid." They ignored all other dimensions of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. They made it illegal for people to maintain a strong immune system by playing team sports, going to the gym, singing in church, and spending time in person with family and friends.
Rather than protecting seniors in nursing homes, who are truly threatened by Covid and who made up about 80 percent of Covid deaths in 2020, politicians instead locked down healthy people for the next 14 to 16 months. Lockdowns were then partially lifted in 2021, only to be replaced by vaccine passports that have now turned unvaccinated Canadians into second-class citizens, stripped of their human rights, civil liberties, and constitutional freedoms.
Locking down all of society for months on end was a brand new experiment, never tried before in Canadian history, and completely different from quarantining the sick, which had been done for millennia. Rather than admitting the experimental nature of lockdowns, and seeking to measure the pros and cons of lockdowns with a humble and scientific approach, government officials instead claimed aggressively and repeatedly that lockdowns were "evidence-based" and "scientific."
Politicians in March of 2020 could be forgiven (and perhaps even applauded) for taking decisive action against a virus that Dr. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London described as the equivalent of the Spanish Flu of 1918. The Spanish Flu killed between 20 and 50 million people around the globe, at a time when world population was barely a quarter of what it is today.
Yet by May of 2020 it was abundantly clear, based on the government's own data, that Covid was not even remotely as dangerous as had been claimed. Moreover, unlike the annual flu, Covid does not kill large numbers of babies, toddlers and young children. Death rates in Canada in 2020 were in line with death rates in 2019, 2018, 2017 and prior years. In spite of these facts, politicians have continued to portray Covid as a virus that everyone should fear. The "mainstream" (government-funded) media continue to spread baseless fear every day.
As though conjecture and speculation are adequate substitutes for evidence, politicians boldly proclaimed that lockdowns saved lives, without providing persuasive data to support their claims. Nineteen months after lockdowns were first imposed, not a single government in Canada, federal or provincial, has conducted and released a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns. Research on the harms of lockdowns has been left to private citizen groups and charities, who have but a fraction of the vast resources possessed by governments.
Governments have also claimed that there are no possible treatments for Covid, asserting that lockdowns (and now vaccine passports) are the only solution. Yet numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies state that Ivermectin has been used to treat Covid successfully in India and other countries. This cheap human medication, consumed by billions of people since the 1970s, causes no harm. Even if Ivermectin's success rate was only 10 percent (and studies suggest its effectiveness is much higher), why would this cheap and safe medication not be given to Covid patients if every life matters? The hostility of governments and governmental bodies to Ivermectin is unscientific and incredibly concerning.
In summary, since March of 2020, governments have made numerous false claims: Covid is an unusually deadly killer that all should fear; there are no treatments for Covid; we are capable of preventing a virus from spreading throughout society; lockdowns are not an experiment but are evidence-based science; lockdowns harms need not be measured accurately or comprehensively; we should just assume that lockdowns do more good than harm; lockdowns will end when 70 percent or 80 percent of the population gets the Covid vaccine.
With governments having proclaimed so many falsehoods, with so much confidence, for such a long time, is it any wonder that many Canadians do not trust the claims of federal and provincial governments about the new mRNA Covid vaccines?
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is filing Charter challenges to vaccine passport policies in courts across Canada.
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