Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says hatred of former President Trump is hindering research into whether a drug used to treat parasitic infections in animals and humans can treat COVID-19, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently said it has received several reports of people requiring hospitalization after “self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for horses” to treat COVID-19, and warned people against doing so.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, ya’ll. Stop it,” the health agency tweeted last week.
Health officials say ivermectin intended for human use and medication used on livestock is significantly different, with the latter containing high levels of the drug that can be toxic to people.
And while ivermectin made for human consumption has been used for decades to treat parasitic worms and other conditions, the drug has not been approved to treat COVID-19, although several ongoing clinical trials involving ivermectin as a possible treatment are underway.
Despite this, demand for the drug has surged across the country among people infected with the coronavirus in recent weeks, with some pharmacists reporting a shortage of the drug, according to The New York Times.
The phenomenon is similar to last year’s polarizing debate on the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which was touted by Trump during his presidency as a treatment for the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization concluded the drug had little effect or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
During a meeting with dozens of his constituents Friday in Cold Spring, Ky., Paul claimed researchers are unwilling to take the drug seriously as a COVID-19 treatment because of their dislike for the former president, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul reportedly told his constituents.
“So someone like me that’s in the middle on it, I can’t tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump,” Paul said.
The senator said he was unsure if ivermectin works because there has yet to be enough research, but told the Cincinnati Enquirer he keeps an open mind.
He also reportedly railed against mask and vaccine mandates but encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“I think I’m in the middle ground of the vaccines,” he told the local news outlet. “CNN invites me on all the time. They have announcers calling me an ‘ass’ on TV. Then they have doctors saying I’m thorougly anti-vaccine. You heard me, I’m not against the vaccine. I’ve already recommended if you’are at risk to take it…It’s still your choice if it’s a free country,” he reportedly said.
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