Last updated on February 7th, 2023 at 02:50 pm
I thought this war was over, but apparently quack doctor, Pierre Kory is publishing a book, The War on Ivermectin: The Medicine That Saved Millions and Could Have Ended the COVID Pandemic, that should be out in February 2023. Worse yet, the book is going to be distributed by Simon & Schuster, one of the largest book publishers in the world.
The book will claim that the widely discredited drug “saved millions.” Apparently, this book will document Dr. Kory’s efforts to push for ivermectin in COVID-19 treatment protocols, and what he calls a corrupt and concerted effort from the medical establishment to deny its efficacy.
There’s so much to take apart here from ivermectin not showing any clinical value in large studies to a respected book publisher getting involved in Kory’s false claims. There was never a war on ivermectin — there was science showing that it could not and did not work in treating COVID-19.
What’s this ivermectin stuff?
Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about ivermectin being hypothesized as a drug to treat COVID-19. We’ll get back to the war on the drug, but we should spend a few paragraphs discussing ivermectin.
Let me start with ivermectin itself. It is an antiparasitic drug. It was discovered in 1975, and its first uses were in veterinary medicine to prevent and treat heartworm and acariasis. It was approved for human use in 1987 — it is used to treat infestations including head lice, scabies, river blindness, strongyloidiasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis, and lymphatic filariasis.
William Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for its discovery and applications. The Nobel Prize was for the discoverers of such an important medicine — it is not given for the drug itself, despite wild claims on the internet that try to claim that the drug won the Nobel Prize and thus must be useful in treating any disease.
As you will notice, there are no claims that ivermectin has any effect on viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19. The myth that ivermectin had some effect on SARS-CoV-2 was the result of an in vitro study. Of course, less than 1% of drugs that work in vitro ever end up with any clinical usefulness.
Then a series of very badly designed trials, with serious methodological issues, tried to show that ivermectin worked to treat COVID-19, but most scientists rejected those claims. However, anti-vaxxers being their usual anti-science selves, decided that ivermectin was all that was needed, not vaccines.
There are significant clinical studies that have shown conclusively that ivermectin has no effect on COVID-19 — this is not a war on ivermectin, this is based on scientific facts.
So, you’re wondering why some of us call it a “horse dewormer.” It’s because delusional people who thought it treated COVID-19 bought up the horse version of ivermectin, because they would need to see an actual doctor for a prescription for the human version, and they knew 99.9% of physicians would have laughed at them.
Let’s talk about Pierre Kory
Kory is a co-founder of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), which pushed (and continues to push) ivermectin as a frontline therapy for COVID-19. The War on Ivermectin is described as Kory’s “personal and professional narrative,” detailing “his plight to alert the world of his group’s identification of ivermectin as a highly-effective, life-saving, widely available generic medicine with an obvious ability to end the global pandemic.” The book also purports to cover “the catastrophic impacts of mass media censorship and relentless mass media propaganda that he witnessed against ivermectin and his organization’s ability to help save lives.”
So, it’s a book about a conspiracy.
Let’s go back in time to the summer of 2020, when we didn’t know anything about the disease. Everyone was trying to figure out a way to tackle the coronavirus, and I swear everyone was throwing every compound in the formulary against SARS-CoV-2. And I guess that included ivermectin, despite the fact that there is little evidence that it can do anything to viruses in vivo.
Kory, despite the lack of scientific evidence, pushed ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. And of course, we all saw what happened next. The horse dewormer flew off the shelves of agricultural stores as mostly right-wing commentators pushed it as the cure for COVID-19.
A lot of Kory’s beliefs weren’t based on clinical evidence (since that was notably lacking in well-designed clinical trials), but on in vitro studies which rarely (less than 1% of the time). Oh, and he loved his preprints that have not been peer-reviewed or published.
What is Simon & Schuster doing?
As I said, Simon & Schuster is one of the largest book publishers in the country, ranking 3rd. Although it publishes and distributes books under its own trademark, it distributes books for affiliated publishers without any editorial control.
In the case of “The War on Ivermectin,” Skyhorse Publishing is actually publishing the book while Simon & Schuster is distributing it. Skyhorse has 20 imprints, or trade names, under which it publishes books. One of these is “Children’s Health Defense,” an anti-vaccine organization run by our favorite Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who has yet to make one factual statement about vaccines.
I am not one to tell you to connect the dots, but there are dots and they can be easily connected. Skyhorse Publishing seems to enjoy these kinds of books that push pseudoscience and false narratives regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
This article is just reminding the reader that Pierre Kory does not have facts on his side when he describes an imaginary war on ivermectin. The facts are on my side — large, robust, well-designed clinical trials show that ivermectin doesn’t do anything for COVID-19. Its mechanism of action is biologically implausible.
Simon & Schuster probably shouldn’t distribute this book, but they distributed RFK Jr’s nonsense before, so I guess the best we can do is show the evidence against their disinformation campaigns.
But just to put a final point on this article — save ivermectin for parasitic infections. It’s useless for COVID-19.
- Caly L, Druce JD, Catton MG, Jans DA, Wagstaff KM. The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Antiviral Res. 2020 Jun;178:104787. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787. Epub 2020 Apr 3. PMID: 32251768; PMCID: PMC7129059.
- Garegnani LI, Madrid E, Meza N. Misleading clinical evidence and systematic reviews on ivermectin for COVID-19. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2021 Apr 22:bmjebm-2021-111678. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2021-111678. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33888547.
- Lim SCL, Hor CP, Tay KH, Mat Jelani A, Tan WH, Ker HB, Chow TS, Zaid M, Cheah WK, Lim HH, Khalid KE, Cheng JT, Mohd Unit H, An N, Nasruddin AB, Low LL, Khoo SWR, Loh JH, Zaidan NZ, Ab Wahab S, Song LH, Koh HM, King TL, Lai NM, Chidambaram SK, Peariasamy KM; I-TECH Study Group. Efficacy of Ivermectin Treatment on Disease Progression Among Adults With Mild to Moderate COVID-19 and Comorbidities: The I-TECH Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Feb 18. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.0189. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35179551.