Sen. Johnson: Develop and Offer Early Treatment for Covid Rather Than Slandering Those Who Advocate It

OSHKOSH — On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) released the following statement in response to inaccurate reporting regarding his advocacy for early treatment of Covid-19:

“Early in the pandemic, I became a leading advocate for exploring and researching the use of existing drugs to stop viral replication and reduce the severity of Covid symptoms. Had our federal health agencies devoted sufficient effort and research to help develop effective early treatment, thousands of lives could have been saved.  I have also been a strong advocate for government transparency and providing the public up-to-date information regarding Covid, federal agency safety surveillance systems, and the emergence of variants so that individuals and their doctors can make health decisions with as much information as possible.

“Unfortunately, federal health agencies and too many in the field of medicine ignored early treatment and focused almost exclusively on vaccines — which I also supported.  I have always been agnostic regarding which drugs might prove effective, and believe we should listen with an open mind to doctors who have had the courage and compassion to actually treat Covid patients. 

“Not only have federal health agencies failed to help develop early treatment, they have also failed to be transparent and provide the public with honest and accurate information.  Just a few examples include flip-flopping on mask effectiveness, providing scant research on mask effectiveness and ignoring research showing no benefit and possible harm, closing schools, issuing guidance that antibodies do not indicate immunity, and ignoring growing evidence of the effectiveness of natural immunity.

“The CDC’s latest guidance and warning regarding human use of veterinary ivermectin is accurate, but has provided media and political groups a talking point to slander health care professionals investigating the drug and those, like me, who are willing to seek a second opinion in search of solutions. I have never advocated the use of veterinary ivermectin. I have advocated early treatment and am agnostic regarding what drugs can and will work — pointing out only that people who contract Covid need a better alternative than the current NIH guidance, which is to go home, take a pain medication like Tylenol, and be isolated and afraid until they’re sick enough to need hospital care.

“Ivermectin’s first use was veterinary, but by 1988 was developed into an anti-parasitic drug for human use. It was described as a wonder drug by the World Health Organization and its developers won a Nobel prize for it in 2015. Its manufacturer boasts of having donated 4 billion doses for human use over the past three decades. For doctors, who fully understand the human use and benefit of ivermectin, to accuse me of recommending the veterinary form of the drug is an intentional slander and defamation. For the members of the media, their slanderous articles represent defamation with malicious intent. Anyone with even an ounce of integrity should immediately retract their slanderous and defamatory statements, press releases, and articles. 

“Unfortunately, because of the dereliction of duty of our federal health agencies and too many in the medical community ignoring early treatment, some Americans have resorted to obtaining veterinary ivermectin out of desperation. The solution lies in developing and offering early treatment of Covid, not in slandering and defaming those of us who strongly advocate for this common sense approach to saving lives.”