Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said researchers won't study ivermectin because of their "hatred for Trump."
Paul said he was "in the middle" on whether ivermectin should be used and wanted more research done.
The FDA and CDC are asking people to avoid the drug, which is used to deworm horses and cows.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said researchers won't study the toxic livestock-deworming drug ivermectin as a potential COVID treatment because of their dislike for former President Donald Trump.
"The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much that they're unwilling to objectively study it," Paul said, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. "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 told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he doesn't know whether ivermectin works, but that he keeps "an open mind."
Trump has not pushed ivermectin but has continually advocated for using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID. But neither drug has proved to be effective in preventing or curing COVID-19 infections, and US health authorities have warned people against using them.
Scientists are studying ivermectin as a coronavirus treatment, and they previously investigated hydroxychloroquine as well. In the US, the National Institutes of Health is conducting a large, late-stage trial to see whether ivermectin can help people with mild or moderate COVID-19 cases feel better more quickly. The University of Oxford's PRINCIPLE trial is also studying ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration urged people not to self-medicate with ivermectin because it is intended for horses and other livestock.
-U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 21, 2021
The FDA also said in a statement that it received reports that people were being hospitalized after using the drug. It acknowledged that initial research was being carried out on the drug's efficacy but that the formula used for animals differed greatly from what humans were supposed to take.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released a health advisory last week, cautioning that people could become severely ill from self-medicating with ivermectin because an overdose could cause a coma, seizures, and death. Even the milder side effects of taking too much ivermectin are extremely unpleasant, the FDA said, and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, dizziness, and other allergic reactions.
Nonetheless, people continue to take ivermectin. The CDC's numbers showed that from early July until the week of August 13, pharmacies filled more than 88,000 prescriptions of ivermectin.
Clinical studies have also shown that hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, does not help treat or prevent COVID-19. The FDA cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine after finding that the drug could cause serious heart problems, blood and lymph-node disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems, including liver failure.
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