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Why the FDA is reminding some people that they're not horses

Ordinarily, the FDA wouldn't have to remind people not to treat COVID with deworming medication intended for livestock. And yet, here we are.


The official Twitter account for the U.S. Food and Drug Association published a curious missive over the weekend, which may have left some people confused. "You are not a horse," it read. "You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it."

And why, pray tell, did the FDA feel the need to remind human beings that they're neither horses nor cows? Well, it's a not-so-funny story. As the Washington Post reported:

The plea from Mississippi’s top doctor to a state grappling with the nation’s second-lowest vaccination rate seemed simple: Do not take ivermectin — a drug intended for treating worms in livestock — to prevent or treat the coronavirus. Despite no scientific evidence that ivermectin is effective at preventing or treating covid-19, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs was left baffled this week after one person was hospitalized for ingesting the horse dewormer medication to treat the virus — a “kind of crazy” act he likened to getting chemotherapy at a feed store.

Tragically, Mississippi's public-health system was already struggling badly. On a per-capita basis, the Magnolia State has some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates on the planet, and hospitals throughout the state have been pushed to the breaking point, fueled in part by the fact that Mississippi has one of the nation's lowest vaccination rates.

But making matters just a bit worse is the fact that many people in the state have begun voluntarily taking a deworming medication intended for livestock as a coronavirus treatment. The NBC affiliate in Tupelo reported that the Mississippi Poison Control Center has seen a surge in calls related to people taking ivermectin.

As Rachel noted on Friday night's show, it is difficult to understand why some folks would avoid a safe, free, and effective vaccine, but then ingest a deworming medication intended for livestock.

But in the same segment, Rachel also answered the next question: why in the world would anyone do this? Because some conservative media outlets -- including each of Fox News' primetime hosts -- have told the public that ivermectin works in response to COVID-19.

As Rachel explained on the show, however, there's been one significant study touting ivermectin as a coronavirus treatment, but it was ultimately withdrawn because its data had been manipulated. In the meantime, the FDA, NIH, World Health Organization, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and even the company that makes ivermectin have all warned people not to take ivermectin for COVID.

The misguided chatter about hydroxychloroquine was problematic enough. This really isn't helping.