In Far-Flung Places, COVID-19 Is Being Treated Early And Well. Here’s Why Americans Don’t Know This.

In Far-Flung Places, COVID-19 Is Being Treated Early And Well. Here’s Why Americans Don’t Know This.

By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

It has occurred to us all. Somewhere in this plague-ridden world is a way to manage COVID-19 that works. Somebody must be getting this right.

Indeed, at isolated hospitals and nursing homes, in parts of India and Africa, in countries like Bangladesh and Egypt, and even in a few American doctors’ offices, COVID-19 is quietly and effectively being managed. Fewer patients in those places go to hospitals. Those admitted don’t stay as long. Fewer die, according to preliminary but impressive studies.

The typical American, however, has heard none of this — not heard that COVID can be prevented, not that it can be treated early, not that we can relieve the suffering and, potentially, the long-term damage. They have not heard that there is a drug called ivermectin.

Here’s why they don’t know.

— Politics in the United States has distorted and undermined the treatment debate here and worldwide. Recall the hydroxychloroquine uproar, which tragically made cheap early treatments a right-left, for-against issue. Two Senate hearings were partisan sideshows in which evidence was dismissed as “unverified” and “discredited” even before it was heard.

— The United States, the supposed leader in medical breakthroughs, is reluctant to follow or trust the science and data of far-off countries, where valuable research is emerging. Europe and Canada have mostly followed suit.

— But above all, the U.S. has poured $11.2 billion into vaccine development. An effective early treatment could potentially undercut demand for those vaccines, though we clearly need both.

The bar, therefore, is high for any drug that even hints at a COVID cure. Government calls such contenders unproven; declares reports of their success anecdotal, and throws arbitrary hurdles in their way. Drug companies, meantime, invest only in new and expensive treatments, among them remdesivir, which costs $3,000 (even as it fails many patients).

Put Politics, Bias Aside

I don’t suggest there is a profit-driven conspiracy to let infections fester and people die. For better or worse, this is how things work in a democratic, capitalist culture. A problem presents an opportunity. Business, government, medicine and media respond. But the grave implications of COVID-19 mean these players have acted in outsized and often counterproductive ways.  

As a long-time investigative journalist, I have written about ivermectin and, before that, hydroxychloroquine, as cheap, approved drugs that could be treating COVID now. I believe the evidence should be studied in an unbiased way. But mainstream media has upheld an almost universal blackout on anything positive about these safe generics.

This fixed narrative has led YouTube, Twitter and FaceBook to practice a new and insidious form of censorship, under the dictum that emerging studies are fatally flawed and fostered by “fringe” elements. “There’s no evidence ivermectin has been proven a safe or effective treatment against COVID-19,” declared an Associated Press “fact-checking” article.  Similar reports regurgitate government pronouncements that journalism, at its best, ought rather question.

Even major medical journals have gone along rather than lead, strongly preferring articles that reinforce the prevailing story. After analyzing 180 studies on hydroxychloroquine, the @CovidAnalysis website concluded: “Studies from North America are 3.8 times more likely to report negative results than studies from the rest of the world combined.” This is not random but choice. The Lancet even published a devastating hydroxychloroquine study only to retract it because of fraudulent data.

In this milieu, Americans are mostly unaware of what they don’t have and should demand: early treatment.

U.S. guidelines say there is “insufficient data…either for or against” the use of any drug for new COVID infections. Instead, patients must deteriorate and be hospitalized before getting recommended treatments, often after the damage is done. These treatments include the steroid dexamethasone and, yes, remdesivir, though the World Health Organization actually recommends against it.

This delayed-care approach violates a guiding principle of medicine, which is to treat disease as early as possible to avoid debility and death.

Exceptions to this early-care embargo, of course, are patients with stature. Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Ben Carson all got immediate high-level treatment with costly experimental therapies. None in that older, high-risk group died.

For the rest of us, there are doctors fearful of practicing the art of medicine — to try something to relieve suffering – because of controversies surrounding potential treatments. 

Randomized, Controlled, Peer-Reviewed

And yet dozens of studies, mostly from other countries, are suggesting our medical bag isn’t quite as empty as it seems.

Ivermectin, the most promising COVID treatment to date, won its developers the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 and a place on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines. Since the 1980s, with billions of doses given, the drug has cured crippling tropical diseases that had devastated African countries, while curbing scabies and lice and protecting livestock and dogs from parasites.

Spurred by pre-COVID studies showing ivermectin killed Zika and other viruses, Australian researchers last spring tested the drug in a petri dish, where it obliterated the coronavirus in 48 hours. Since then, more than three dozen studies have shown good results in preventing and treating COVID-19.

To be sure, some of the results sound too good to be true or are based on small patient samples. Others are available only in online drafts that have not been officially published. But 16 studies have been peer-reviewed, and 11 are randomized control trials that compared patients who did and did not get the drug.

Statistical analyses show universal benefit, albeit to varying degrees, to using ivermectin for COVID. It’s time Americans knew this.

A nursing home in France had a scabies outbreak in March and treated residents with ivermectin. The home had far fewer COVID cases than others there: just seven of 69 residents – average age 90 — became infected, and none were hospitalized or died. Other such reports have come from Cali, Columbia, Toronto and Lajeado, Brazil, where 28 doctors signed a letter urging adoption of ivermectin as a COVID treatment.

In Argentina, 788 healthcare workers took one pill a week for three months and none got COVID; meanwhile 58 percent of 407 untreated workers became infected. In studies from Egypt, India and Bangladesh, likewise, far fewer high-risk people contracted COVID after taking ivermectin. An Indian state that gave free packets of ivermectin, doxycycline and vitamins C and D saw steep drops in COVID cases and deaths soon after.

This research suggests the drug acts both as a prophylactic – for which data is strongest — as well as an early anti-viral and later anti-inflammatory. In a controlled trial of 400 patients in Bangladesh, no treated patients died compared to three in the untreated group, while 100 patients in a separate study got well within three days. A Florida study, published in the journal Chest, reported a 40 percent decline in deaths when ivermectin was added to other treatments in later-stage hospitalized patients.

‘Purposefully alarmist’

A group of American doctors called Frontline Covid Critical Care Alliance knows that many of these studies are imperfect and that more are needed.  But the group, including doctors who have seen the drug work in patients, maintains there is enough to justify use of ivermectin in today’s fierce medical emergency.

“All the ivermectin studies are lining up,” FLCCC co-founder Dr. Paul Marik told me. “If the trials all line up, it means the findings are reproducible and real. Reproducibility is critical in the evaluation of scientific studies.”

In a 2011 article, the scientist who discovered ivermectin in 1975 in a patch of Japanese soil, Satoshi Ōmura, called it “astonishingly safe” and a “wonder drug,” akin to penicillin and aspirin. “After more than 25 years of use,” a review in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology concluded, “ivermectin continues to provide a high margin of safety.”

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems bent on ignoring both safety and efficacy findings. In a Q&A on ivermectin, the agency lists side effects from nausea and swelling to neurological events and liver injury. FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory described the list for me as “purposefully alarmist.”

Indeed, despite more than 40 positive studies on ivermectin for COVID, the FDA seems stuck in a time warp. Its web site calls the Australian study from eight months ago “recently released” while still declaring, without acknowledging newer studies, that “additional testing is needed.” That’s fine, if only there was support. Just three studies on ivermectin are proceeding in the United States – and none is funded by the National Institutes of Health or any other U.S. agency.

Late last April, US COVID Czar Anthony Fauci decreed remdesivir the “standard of care” before even the first study was published. Failures aside, it is still the only FDA-approved treatment, suggesting a rather arbitrary yardstick for judging the adequacy of COVID drugs.

For 25 years, ivermectin has been distributed free in 19 African countries to control parasites. Is it a coincidence that those countries had 28 percent fewer COVID deaths and 8 percent fewer cases than 35 other African nations? Is it a coincidence that the 240-million-resident Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which distributes free ivermectin, has a COVID death rate that is one-sixtieth that of the United States’? 

On FaceBook, a physicians’ group has mushroomed to 7,100 members who daily share the science and experience of ivermectin. Many believe the drug’s safety and science demand that now, as cases and deaths soar to 3,000 a day, we put it to work.

While doctors are told to do no harm, FLCCC’s Kory believes there are harms also of “omission,” of not trying something in a time of crisis.

“How long,” he asks, “are you going to just stand there and do nothing?”


Mary Beth Pfeiffer is an investigative reporter and author of two books. Read her other COVID articles, here. Follow her on Twitter: @marybethpf. Thanks to Data Analyst Juan J. Chamie for his workup of COVID death rates in Uttar Pradesh, India, vs. the U.S.

Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Investigative Journalist

Author: Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change

My articles on COVID and Lyme


  1. Uruguay, a country of 3 1/2 millions has lost only 400 people due to covid, and the majority of these 400 people had comorbidity. The population are using Ivermectin as treatment and prophylaxis.

  2. Uruguay, a country of 3 1/2 millions has lost only 400 people due to covid, and the majority of these 400 people had comorbidity. The population are using Ivermectin as treatment and prophylaxis.

  3. Thank you to all who participated in the discussion on my article. I would like to address the Dec. 27 commenter who wrote that my article “endorsed” the drug remdesivir. The article does quite the opposite. It states that remdesivir “fails many patients;“ that WHO recommends against it, and that it was declared the standard of care based on unpublished data.
    The writer also contends that ivermectin has many side effects. I would refer him to a published review, quoted and linked to in the article, which concluded that ivermectin “continues to provide a high margin of safety” after 25 years of use. (Link below.)

    On the Dec. 28 comment about scabies outbreaks in nursing homes: see the link below to the incident in France; it was dropped from the article.

    Again, thanks to all. Keep reading and sharing!

    Over 25 Years of Clinical Experience With Ivermectin: An Overview of Safety for an Increasing Number of Indications

    Ivermectin benefit: from scabies to COVID-19, an example of serendipity

    1. Thank you so much for daring to write this article. I have been doing all I can to spread the word on Ivermectin. It has been used for over 20 years and saved countless lives and illness.

      Ivermectin is used on 300 to 400 million humans a year and there are no negative results that I can find. Toxic levels from the manufacturers own papers happens at very high doses that most humans would be hard pressed to consume. FLCCC has great guidelines for dosing.

      Bottom line, it is criminal that this drug is being withheld from the American public. Thousands will die and millions will be economically destroyed.

  4. So sorry! It looks like Pharmaceutical companies are now competing with weapon industry to sell their products at the cost of lives of people.

  5. The censorship of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine in Sodomerica (America is DEAD, let’s face it) has absolutely NOTHING to do with Capitalism and EVERYTHING to do with GODLESSNESS and Marxism.
    The entities in America working to censor the mention of those drugs are CLEARLY Leftist and liars and idiots deny that.

    I live in the Dominican Republic, a country that is very religious and where abortion is highly ILLEGAL.
    We are a fully Conservative and Capitalist country yet early treatment with Ivermectin has been going on here since April. Two prominent doctors, Tavares and Redondo have spearhead it’s use and have been mentioned on international news channels.

  6. I am a retired clinical pharmacist. All that was said above about ivermectin and doxycyline and zinc is true. It is not the cure for the disease. The vaccine “if successful” is the cure. However, it will save those at risk. I have the meds and will treat myself if I become acutely ill with covid. I will survive.

  7. One of the few great articles I’ve read about COVID treatment since the beginning of the year (and I’ve read a lot). Nice work!

  8. Thank you, Mary Beth, for continuing this exhausting fight. I never would have guessed (before the pandemic) that our so-called “advanced” countries’ health officials would be so much less curious, resourceful and flexible in confronting such an enormous crisis. They have,wilfully or blindly, completely ignored the evidence that this venerable drug could do so much. Meanwhile much poorer regions have been nimble and effective. One has only to compare death rates, say in Canada at ~400/miilion and Uttar Pradesh at ~35.
    Thanks also to JJ Chamie, the FLCCC Alliance, and Trial Site News.

  9. Agree 100 percent with your assessment and have taken ivermectin personally and thus have had no experience with Covid.
    Have studied this dilemma in our nation and seen the horrors of death perpetrated upon fellow citizens.
    Would like to see those who are guilty of this crime against humanity punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    Would also like permission to republish what I have just read in a newsletter that reaches about 200 people.
    Thanks for your consideration of this request!

  10. Ms. Pfeiffer writes: “A group of American doctors called Frontline Covid Critical Care Alliance [FLCCC] knows that many of these studies are imperfect and that more are needed. But the group, including doctors who have seen the drug work in patients, maintains there is enough to justify use of Ivermectin in today’s fierce medical emergency.”

    If the FLCCC doctors have seen the drug work in patients, then where is the FLCCC statistical data?

    Dr. Marik practices in Eastern Virginia, USA. Great, where is HIS statistical data from HIS patients which supports Ivermectin prophylaxis and/or early use?

    This seems to me a reasonable expectation from the doctor who is at the forefront of promoting the I-MASK protocol.

  11. Every time Covid comes up in conversation with anyone, and that’s all the time, I mention Ivermectin. Nobody has heard of it. Ever. Very few of them have ever heard of Dr. Zelenko but they “know” HCQ kills you. Because that’s the message media feeds them. Not one person has ever even thought about looking up anything online beyond what Big Media “reports”.

    If they’re interested, I tell them the whole story, from the beginning on that fateful day with two guys on a golf course, to river blindness, to the Nobel Prize, to the millions of lives saved, the billions of pills safely taken over decades, to a long list of parasites and viruses this medicine has been effective on, to all the countries that are using this successfully, and of course how inexpensive it is. They’re stunned.

    Then I mention the vitamin / mineral supplement prophylactic regimen I follow, which is very similar to the I-MASK+ protocol except I don’t have any Ivermectin and I follow Dr. Mercola’s suggested level of daily vitamin D.

    They’ve never heard of any of this. They all run around saying “There’s nothing that can be done. There’s no treatment. Perfectly healthy people are dying left and right. We need the vaccine!” because that’s all they hear on TV. Brainwashed.

    1. We gave ivermectin to our horses a few times a year. Not one of them ever got sick from it. I’m so sick of the media not talking about this. Not everyone is onboard with this vaccine. Why not ivermectin?

  12. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. You don’t have it. And the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

    And would I trust data from India? Not a chance! Indian researchers have about 30 times the rate of publications in preditory journals as the the rest of the world.

    You need to do the proper study, a large (over 1,000 participants), multi-institutional (such as 40 or 50 hospitals), randomized, double blinded study of Ivermectin versus placebo (standard of care), or versus Remdesivir (or examples) to be convincing. There needs to be compelling evidence.

    So, if you are sure that Ivermectin is that good, then DO THE CLINCAL TRIAL, don’t moan about it on this trialsitenews webpage.

    TrialSiteNews pretends to be open minded, but in my opinion, TrialSiteNews just shills for the unproven.

    1. Not an extraordinary claim, this is pretty ordinary

      Anecdotes, or observations, can be sufficient to create a hypothesis

      We all agree that a proper study would be good in order to test the hypothesis
      Who will fund it? It’s argued that the lack of a study is politically motivated

      All of the observations are confirming evidence, none are disconfirming. This does not prove that ivermectin is helpful but strongly suggests testing it.

  13. It is equally or even more important to begin “treatment” BEFORE exposure, by assuring each person has optimal vitamin D nutrition. Vitamin D is known to prime many steps in the immune response to viral infections, and multiple studies from multiple countries have shown that being vitamin D deficient increases the risk of severe Covid-19 at least 10 fold.
    Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is present in at least 40% of our population and in an even higher percentage of African-Americans and Latinos. It is rampant in the elderly, whose skin in not efficient in synthesizing vitamin D.
    If every person would take 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, the death rate and the rate of hospitalization would drop at least 5-fold. [No case of vitamin D toxicity has ever been reported unless the dose was above 20,000 IU per day. Taking 5000 IU daily gives you about the same level a life guard at the beach will have at the end of the summer.]

  14. Well done. This article captures most of my concerns about lack of attention to cheap therapies.

    One thing that seems odd (even beyond the stonewalling of Ivermectin), is why the relatively few US based Ivermectin trials include other drugs or remedies such as Camostat Mesilate, Artemesia annua, Vitamin C, D3, Doxycycline (I am aware that Doxycycline does have anti inflammation properties).

    It seems that if Ivermectin is to prove efficacy, associating it with other treatments could confuse matters unless the treatments can be administered in combinations to discern whether these “extras” are having an impact or just “along ffor the ride”…but then the study would necessarily need to be expanded to include many more participants.

    Can someone explain?

    1. I actually think some savvy researchers / pharmaceutical executives are actually including ivermectin along with what ever novel drug they want to sell. Even if their drug did nothing to actually help the patients and it was all ivermectin I’m sure that they will push there novel drug to the forefront and say it was that drug but still say ivermectin should be given as well so it isn’t found out that there is a difference in efficacy between the two. This is all so the pharma companies can capitalize on this disease. And tbh if that is what is needed to save lives and if we need to pay more for some hydroxychloroquine / ivermectin + expensive novel drug cocktail to prevent people dying i prefer it if it will get things rolling in the west faster. That being said many doctors in the west are up on what’s happening and know about the studies in other countries and if you ask for it many will prescribe it. But only if you ask because others have been tricked into believing either because of trump or the media that it’s the worse thing ever.

  15. Thank you for such a balanced ‘non mainstream article’ ….I’m a public health doctor (African) and noticed exactly the same sentiment that mainstream expect a costly ‘fancy – remdesevir like’ solution to this, rather than a cheap, life-saving treatment available to all who might need it.
    Vaccines are wonderful in situations such as rabies, tetanus, measles etc…and I think will certainly help the covid situation in certain cases but my first choice would have been to seek an effective and cheap treatment available to those who might suffer more serious disease …a small group of people in the bigger picture of things. World Wide – public health needs to pull its socks up and start seeing the bigger picture …not everything in health today is about covid ,…I said the same thing about Zika in 2015….so frustrating ! thanks for your insights

  16. The 2 drugs that you endorsed in this article are Stromectol (ivermectin) and Veklury (remdesivir). Both drugs have only mediocre safety profiles compared to the 6 other drugs being strongly considered for treating COVID-19. Avigan (favipiravir), Alinia (nitazoxanide), Foistar (camostat), artemisinin, Alzumab (itolizumab), and Actemra (tocilizumab) all have extremely good safety profiles.

    Stromectol (ivermectin) safety profile:

    Veklury (remdesivir) safety profile:

    Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, and chloroquine cause cardiovascular QT interval prolongation and sinus bradycardia but favipiravir does not:

    Remdesivir causes liver damage:

    Remdesivir causes kidney damage but favipiravir does not:

    Because of the above-described damage to heart function, liver function, and kidney function, the survivors in the placebo group are better off than the survivors in the remdesivir group

    Remdesivir, Kaletra, and ribavirin worsen the skin rash problem during COVID-19 but favipiravir does not:

    In Europe, ESICM now advises against remdesivir:

    1. I did not get the impression that the author was endorsing remdesivir More to the contrary, she was highlighting the emerging information about the ineffectiveness of remdesivir. Use of Favipiavir is another one of the drugs advocated by AAPS and other groups for early Ambulatory treatment, but unfortunately it will probably fall victim to the same bureaucratic stifling that ivermectin is subjected to, because it is given orally and therefore relatively much cheaper than the drugs that the Medical cartel are pushing

    2. I did not see him, endorse remdesivir infact he just mentioned the mainstreams acceptance of it, i can’t remember if he mentioned its poor efficacy. Btw, im quite annoyed about QT prolongation being used as evidence of a drugs danger. There are so many drugs that are commonly and safely dispensed daily and taken daily that cause QT prolongation that it’s often hard to find ones that do not. Unless the person has severe issues with there heart, it shouldnt even be considered an issue for a drug that is supposed to be used for a short period of time. For example opiods cause QT prolongation, and there seems to be no concern of all the people who take them daily sometimes there whole life for pain or are addicted to them.