The use of the drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 has been controversial in the United States and other Western nations. However, countries in the east have had no qualms in using the drug and have achieved positive results in fighting the pandemic. In Indonesia, COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly after the government authorized ivermectin to treat people infected with the coronavirus.
In early June, Indonesia’s COVID-19 caseload was 5,000 per day. On June 12, the government banned the use of the drug. The number of cases spiked to over 40,000 per day by July, and 90,000 people died during this period.
Despite being banned, ivermectin was in high demand. After the public and a number of top politicians supported the drug, the Indonesian government finally re-approved its use on July 15. The number of infections plummeted, going below 5,000 per day in October. Only 25.6 percent of Indonesia’s population was vaccinated as of Oct. 27.
In an article for Wentworth Report, Joanne Nova wrote that Indonesia has managed COVID-19 ten times better than Australia despite having “ten times as many people and only one third of the government revenue.” Australia, which has vaccinated 70 percent of its population, has twice the number of infections as Indonesia.
During his recent COP26 and G20 meetings, the Indonesian president asked for “more vaccine equity” rather than promoting the use of ivermectin. He insisted that developed countries must do more to help poorer nations obtain vaccines so that “we can overcome this pandemic together.”
In an interview with The Gateway Pundit, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko stated that what the Indonesian president did was employ a “bait-and-switch” tactic.
“They’re saying the reason why they’re staying alive, the patient, is because of the vaccine. In reality, it is because of ivermectin. And the patients that are not vaccinated, are being refused life-saving medication, and they’re dying and then they reach to the conclusion that the reason why they died was that they didn’t get the vaccine. In reality, the reason why they died was because the life-saving medication was withheld from them,” Zelenko said.
It is not just Indonesia that has benefited from ivermectin’s use. In India, the drug has been used with immense success in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In September, the state government announced that 33 districts had become COVID-free. Authorities suggested that the early use of ivermectin was one reason for low infection rates at the time.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorically asked people to not use ivermectin for treating COVID-19.
“Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing,” the FDA’s website states.
In Texas, a hospital recently suspended the privileges of a doctor who had criticized vaccine mandates and promoted the use of ivermectin. According to the Houston Methodist Hospital, the doctor, Mary Bowden, was spreading “dangerous misinformation” that is “not based in science.”
Speaking to The Washington Post, Bowden’s lawyer Steve Mitby made it clear that the doctor is not against taking vaccinations. She herself is vaccinated as per the hospital’s requirements and has treated more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients. The issue is regarding people’s freedom.
“Like many Americans, Dr. Bowden believes that people should have a choice and believes that all people, regardless of vaccine status, should have access to the same high-quality health care,” Mitby said.