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Reflections on ivermectin, politics and science

Note that views expressed in Blog articles are the writers’ personal views and not necessarily those of BiRD

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Blog: How to speak to friends, colleagues and loved ones about ivermectin

Speaking to others about ivermectin.

So, you have done your research and learned that ivermectin can help prevent and treat Covid-19 and now you would like to help spread the message. It isn’t easy to convince others with strong views but here’s our guidance.

Starting Tips

People don’t tend to change their minds about something during a heated confrontation. Changing our minds happens during quiet moments, when the mind is left free to roam and is untouched by any desire to respond defensively. Most of us hold on to certain beliefs and assumptions because they provide us with a sense of security. After all, why would the government or media lie? And if they lie about something of such magnitude – what else are they lying about? It’s scary and most people don’t want to go there, which is understandable.

 Keep it calm!

When you find yourself in a situation that allows for a conversation about ivermectin, the best tactic is to scrape away gently at a firmly held belief, not try to fell in one blow. It can be difficult when confronted with misinformation but try to stay calm. Words uttered with anger just make people more defensive and far less open to alternative viewpoints. Try to keep the air of a measured rational person able to view both sides.

Be ready with appropriate facts

Know your facts, be ready to quote from experts when appropriate but don’t overdo it! Too much information sounds too preachy and will put people on the defensive. You could just say ‘there’s some research that shows…’ and later ‘remember’ the author’s name if needed.

Sow seeds of doubt

From small seeds big ideas can grow

Don’t expect to convince someone first time round; it takes time. They may have an established viewpoint, but by sowing small seeds of doubt you can help chip away at accepting the status quo as the only truth. You don’t even have to answer the ‘why’ questions yourself, it is often enough to simply pose it to help raise doubts. The more that people discover inconsistencies in the established narrative, the more they will be open to considering alternative viewpoints.

1)  Ask a Question

As with any conversation, the first step is to engage and get your conversation partner’s attention. You could start by asking a simple question, like: 

“What do you know about ivermectin and covid?”

Answers will inevitably include variations of the following

It’s a just horse dewormer

You know this is coming, just take a calm breath and you could say:

True, it is used for horses and other animals as well as humans. We also take aspirin, paracetamol, antibiotics and many other medicines that have animal formulations.

Why do you think that uniquely among medicines this is how health authorities choose to depict ivermectin?

“It’s designed for killing parasites, not viruses”

Ivermectin wasn’t designed for anything; it was just a remarkable discovery. It’s first use has been to fight parasitic diseases but since then has shown very effective antiviral effects which is why now the majority of 60 studies show it works against covid 19.

“It’s not safe”

In fact, ivermectin is one of the safest medicines on record. 30 times safer than aspirin. The WHO has hailed it as one of its ‘Essential Medicines’ after safely treating millions of people in Africa and around the world (including the UK). 

For 40 years it has been applauded universally for its safety record. Even if they think it doesn’t work, why do governments suddenly label it dangerous? 1https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-MHP-HPS-EML-2021.02, accessed on 23 October 2021. 

For comparison, the government approved remdesivir, that is used in hospitals for covid treatment and has been linked to 560 deaths in the last 18 months. For comparison, with ivermectin, there have been just 20 attributable deaths in 20 years and billions of doses and used safely for pregnant women, children and infants 2https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/faq-on-ivermectin/, accessed on 23 October 2021. 3 https://media.mercola.com/ImageServer/Public/2021/October/PDF/fda-attacks-ivermectin-pdf.pdf4 https://ivmmeta.com/, accessed on 23 October 2021.

“It doesn’t work/evidence is flawed”

Of the current 64 trials, 30 are randomised controlled trials. The rest are case studies or observational studies. The vast majority show that it works. 20+ countries with hundreds of millions of citizens have official programs that include ivermectin to prevent and treat covid and have benefited from dramatic falls in cases that their non-ivermectin neighbours haven’t had. 

This body of research represents a greater number of studies and data than most medicines in history. Of course, some of the data may contain errors. But why is the government’s response to dismiss it all rather than view it as a potential treatment to save lives. 5https://earlycovidcare.org/text/

We need more and bigger Randomised Controlled Studies

You could make a point that historically, observational studies were the way doctors determined which drug worked for a particular ailment and well-designed observational controlled trials continue to be a perfectly valid alternative to RCTs, which are logistically challenging and expensive 6https://earlycovidcare.org/text/. In fact, some argue that given that we already have such rich data coming out in favour of ivermectin, “any further studies using a placebo would be unethical” 7 https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/faq-on-ivermectin/

2)  Rebutting the status quo narrative

You may get them pitching for the government and Big Pharma ‘authorised’ narrative:

“Why would the government and media say it doesn’t work if it wasn’t true?”

It’s a difficult question. Despite the amount of evidence available and the low risk to the population, the government and Big Media just dismiss research out of hand.

You may not know about the Trusted News Initiative, an agreement made between Governments, Big Media and Big Tech to “stop the spread of disinformation where it poses risk of real-world harm” 8https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/2020/trusted-news-initiative-vaccine-disinformation

Despite its lack of causing harm, Ivermectin has been a victim of this agreement and discussion on ivermectin is unfairly labelled as ‘misinformation’. 

Perhaps the question you could ask is, given it is safe, cheap, and easy to administer – why wouldn’t you use it? Even if there was just a small chance of it working? It’s not going to harm anyone.

We thought that this easy-to-remember decision matrix (courtesy of Dr Chris Martenson 9https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_blbVs8eBUk) might come in handy:

And didn’t even the manufacturer Merck say it’s not effective?

That’s a good question we would love to know the real reason for them to say this about one of their flagship products. They didn’t give any data for saying this. If they didn’t do any research, they could have just said ‘we don’t know’.

Merck’s patent on ivermectin has now expired so a course is now as low as $1 so there is no profit for them.

What we do know about Merck is that they are developing an oral treatment for covid and have signed an agreement to sell the US government 1.7million courses at $700 a course 10https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-merck-rejects-ivermectin-for-covid-treatment-after-getting-12-billion-govt-contract-for-expensive-unproven-drug

“Pro ivermectin is just another term for anti-vax”

It’s not either/or.  Supporters can be for, against or unsure about vaccines. Most people are just looking for safe early treatments. In the countries that are officially using ivermectin, they still have a vaccine program. Nobody is saying that the oral tablet Monulpiravir makes Merck anti vax. 

Why does this attitude uniquely apply to ivermectin and not for other treatments?

Good luck and let us know what works for you

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