One strategy the Intellectual Horse Paste Web can use in reaction to the latest study showing that the snake oil they spent the summer pimping to their readers is (unlike the vaccine they were trying to undermine) completely ineffective again COVID-19 is…to simply move on to the next grift:
The latest news about ivermectin’s ineffectiveness as a COVID treatment came via the New England Journal of Medicine, which published what’s known as the TOGETHER study, reporting the results of a large clinical trial in Brazil in which 3,515 COVID-positive adults getting treatment at public health clinics were randomly assigned a three-day course of ivermectin, a placebo, or another intervention. The conclusion: Ivermectin did not work to create a “significantly or clinically meaningful lower risk” of hospital admission or “prolonged emergency department observation.” Ivermectin was given early in the course of illness, which ivermectin proponents have always claimed is key to its effectiveness.
This study joins a host of other well-designed clinical studies finding the same thing: Ivermectin doesn’t seem to work to prevent more severe disease. While the National Center of Translational Sciences still has a clinical trial on ivermectin underway, and says it currently can’t recommend for or against the use of the drug to treat COVID, the weight of the existing evidence so far isn’t looking good. Additionally, several studies showing ivermectin’s supposed effectiveness have turned out to be either flawed or outright fraudulent.
This leaves, of course, the brain trust of the Intellectual Dark Web, the group of writers who fled to Substack to all share the same extremely dangerous, heterodox, and entirely original opinions over and over. Some of them, like former Times opinion editor Bari Weiss and former Rolling Stone star reporter Matt Taibbi, haven’t touched ivermectin in quite a while. Both claimed last summer that discussion of ivermectin as a treatment or preventative for COVID was being censored, which Weiss compared to book-burning, while Taibbi said such censorship was driving “the scientific debate itself underground.” None of that was true, then or now; many ivermectin studies were already underway at the time, including the PRINCIPLE study, a mammoth UK-wide project backed by the University of Oxford looking at ivermectin and other treatments; to date it says it has recruited 10,000 participants. Rather than acknowledge the book burning and censorship were perhaps not real, they’ve simply moved on to other concerns and greener, less easily debunked pastures. The same is currently true of Joe Rogan, ivermectin’s most powerful media advocate, who credited the drug with being one of the things that helped him recover quickly from COVID, and who hosted Dr. Pierre Kory of the FLCCC and other vaccine-skeptical and ivermectin-promoting characters like Robert Malone, who claims to have invented mRNA technology.
In Tabbi’s case, there’s so much bullshit he’s pushed on his readers he now has to pretend to forget he ever said — Russia is not going to invade, Russia didn’t ratfuck the 2016 elections, Ivermectin is a legitimate treatment for COVID-19, the GameStop pump and dump will bring Wall Street to his knees — he must be hoping that Dr. Joe Rogan can develop an amnesia pill.
The other option is to follow the path of RFK Jr. and the other professional anti-vaxx cranks who attempt to do pseudo-scientific debunkings of the NEJM study even though it’s far more rigorous than any study on which they’ve based their pro-horse paste/anti-vaxx campaigns:
That leaves Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying, the ex-Evergreen professors, married couple, and co-hosts of the Dark Horse podcast who have made ivermectin advocacy a cornerstone of their work. (Heying has called the “demonization” of ivermectin the “crime of the century.”) Heying and Weinstein extensively discussed the TOGETHER trial during Saturday’s episode of their podcast, denouncing it as poorly designed, suggesting it actually hadn’t been randomized or placebo-controlled (it was), and primarily recommending other people’s potted analyses, including Martenson, the economic researcher, and a site called IVM Meta, a site which claims to be a constantly updating real-time ever-updating meta analysis of ivermectin studies.
As we’ve previously discussed, IVM Meta has some curious traits: it resolves to the same IP address as hcqmeta.com as well as c19legacy.com. HCQMeta uses the same kind of purported real time meta analysis to recommend for the use of hydroxychloroquine. C19 legacy has claimed to count the “unnecessary” deaths caused by doctors not using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID-19. All of these sites refer physicians to the FLCCC for “treatment protocols” and also promote the World Council for Health, a faux public health consortium that’s made up solely of ivermectin advocacy groups.
Well, when you’ve gotten some of your listeners/readers sick and quite possibly some of them dead, facing the truth is always going to be the least attractive option.