There’s an old saying that goes: “If conservatives are recommending a medical treatment, it’s probably horrendously bad for you.”
OK, that isn’t really a saying, but maybe it should be, because ever since right-wingers like crackpot conspiracy superspreader Alex Jones, Donald Trump leg-humper Rand Paul and anti-vaxxers across the nation started pushing or at least defending an anti-parasite drug called Ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19, despite the FDA explicitly warning against its use to treat the virus, stories have been popping up that show just how insidious the pro-Ivermectin campaign really is.
First of all, several inmates at the Washington County jail in Arkansas recently told CBS News they were administered the experimental and unproven COVID-19 treatment without their consent. The drug was reportedly prescribed to inmates by Dr. Rob Karas, who is now under investigation for it.
“They said they were vitamins, steroids, and antibiotics,” Edrick Floreal-Wooten, a Black inmate at the jail, told CBS. “We were running fevers, throwing up, diarrhea…and so we figured that they were here to help us. We never knew that they were running experiments on us, giving us ivermectin. We never knew that.”
“It was not consensual,” he continued. “They used us as an experiment like we’re livestock. Just because we wear stripes and we make a few mistakes in life, doesn’t make us less of a human. We got families, we got loved ones out there that love us.”
“They were pretty much testing us in here is all they were doing, seeing if it would work,” William Evans, another inmate at the jail who had tested positive for COVID-19, told the Associated Press.
To add insult to all that injury, a 2011 study conducted by three universities in Nigeria found Ivermectin caused sterility in 85 percent of the 385 men screened for research purposes.
According to WFLA 8, the 385 patients were treated with Ivermectin for river blindness. 37 of those patients had normal sperm counts and were determined to be eligible for further testing while the “remaining patients had very low sperm counts and were therefore not used for further tests or were too weak.”
Sperm dysfunctions found in 85 percent of the study subjects included low sperm count, poor sperm morphology, sperm with two heads or tiny heads, double tails or no tail at all, poor sperm motility, albino sperm cells and Azoospermia, a condition that causes the absence of motile sperm.
“There was a significant drop in the sperm counts of the patients after their treatment with Ivermectin,” the authors of the study concluded.
If a person was looking to push a conspiracy theory that so-called medical experts were experimenting on prison and jail inmates and sterilizing them without their knowledge, the Arkansas story coupled with the Nigeria study would be all the ammo they needed.
Well, that and America’s long history of sterilizing the incarcerated without their knowing consent.
So, maybe just don’t push unproven drugs as COVID-19 treatments. It just isn’t a good look.