On January 14, the NIH updated it’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines on Ivermectin. The recommendation against its use except in clinical trials was lifted. However, the language of the recommendation made it clear that its use was not justified:
“There are insufficient data for the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel (the Panel) to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.”
The Guidelines, however, state that some “updates” to the Guidelines do not require a vote.
“Updates to existing sections that do not affect the rated recommendations are approved by Panel co-chairs without a Panel vote.”
Through emails to members of the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we have tried to find out if the Ivermectin recommendation was endorsed by a vote of the Panel. FOIA requests to a federal agency must be in the form of a request for a record. In a FOIA request on January 28, we asked:
“All updates to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines that were endorsed by a vote of the Panel. (Date Range for Record Search: From 01/01/2021 To 01/28/2021)”
The NIH did not respond to this request. This has led to a complaint against the NIH in federal court. The NIH has since responded to the FOIA request:
“You requested all updates to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines that were endorsed by a vote of the Panel (Date range for record search from 01/01/2021 to 01/28/2021). All approved updates to the guidelines are posted online and can be found at https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/whats-new/. The documents posted on this website respond to your request in full.”
The NIH requested to have the federal court complaint withdrawn. An edited version of emails with an attorney representing the NIH. The record that is mentioned is the update to the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines from January that was endorsed by a vote of the Panel. If it exists, there was a vote. If it does not exist, there was not a vote.
The NIH has stated that the record does exist. However, it is not able to produce the specific document.
YIM: “I can accept that response If NIH is able to substantiate their claim (that the record exists) by producing the specific record.”
NIH: “Thank you for your response. To be clear, when you say ‘substantiate their claim by producing the specific record’ are you saying that you cannot access the public website where the documents are located? The documents responsive to your request are located on the website. The website is open to the public and you can get the documents at any time. Again, as previously provided, here are the direct links:
There has never been much doubt that the NIH’s recommendation on ivermectin was made without holding a vote of the Panel. However, this is the closest that the NIH has come to an outright admission that no vote was held. With each maneuver the NIH continues its shameful obstruction of this COVID-19 therapy.