Johnson pushes Ivermectin and vaccine conspiracies despite federal warning
Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.), left, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, makes opening comments during a hearing titled “Unprecedented Migration at the U.S. Southern Border: The Year in Review,” in Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 2019. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan was one of four witness testifying. CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett, US CBP government work
Sen. Ron Johnson has made multiple podcast and radio appearances this week in which he pushes Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 while fear mongering about vaccinations. And he’s continued to do so, even after clear warnings that his message is dangerous.
Johnson, who has regularly argued for the use of unproven drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin as treatments for COVID-19, appeared on the shows of Wisconsin right wing radio host Vicki McKenna and Washington Times opinion editor Cheryl Chumley to criticize the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s decision to fully authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and advocate for people to take Ivermectin to treat the disease.
Ivermectin is commonly used to deworm livestock, and although it is approved for use in humans to treat parasitic infection, has not been shown to be effective at preventing COVID-19 infection or treating patients with the disease.
This week, following a prominent push by figures such as Johnson on right wing media outlets such as Fox News, the FDA was forced to put out a warning against the use of Ivermectin.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow,” the agency responsible for approving the use of drugs in the country wrote on Twitter after people were hospitalized for taking the drug.
Johnson, rather than taking the FDA’s warning as a sign that experts don’t believe Ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID, told Chumley he was being persecuted by the FDA.
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“They’re doing far more than dismissing me, they’re attacking me,” he said on her podcast, Bold and Blunt. “I don’t care what drug will work. Try a bunch of them.”
Johnson falsely told McKenna that COVID-19 vaccines are far more dangerous than Ivermectin, citing data from the FDA’s vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS). The data in the VAERS system includes a disclaimer than not all reported events have been vetted and aren’t necessarily caused by a vaccine. Additionally, VAERS reports can be made by anyone, not just medical professionals.
Yet despite this disclaimer, Johnson continued to use the data as his proof that vaccines are dangerous and also a political ploy by Democrats to control the population through vaccine mandates.
“You just mentioned that they put out an advisory that Ivermectin is dangerous,” he said on McKenna’s show. “Over 31 years, Vicki, over 31 years on the VAERS system, 379 deaths for Ivermectin. 379. That’s like 15 a year. Compared to 13,000 for [COVID-19 vaccines]. So they’re putting out a warning on Ivermectin, you know, just way too dangerous. But let’s fully approve of the vaccine.”
“There’s really no reason to fully approve this, emergency use authorization, anybody that wants to get a vaccine, 12 or over, can get one,” he continued. “So there’s no reason other than to strengthen the mandate. And that’s what this is all about, is the political goal of having mandates and probably, eventually, vaccine passports.”
Johnson has insisted that throughout the pandemic that part of his job description includes questioning medical advice during a global health emergency.
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