They Denied A Lab Leak At Wuhan. They Are Wrong About Other Things.

WHO Eyes ‘Protecting’ Ivermectin from Use for COVID as It Plans to Emerge Out of Pandemic & Refocus on NTD Programs

By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

After months of denial, the U.S. government has acknowledged that the COVID-19 catastrophe may indeed have originated in a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

We are now allowed to talk about what until May 13 was a debunked conspiracy theory. Like many facets of the pandemic of our age, Wuhan was censored with the dreaded “disinformation” label, on Facebook and just about everywhere else. Not anymore.

The Wuhan debacle shows what happens when public health institutions have too much power, and the media plays mouthpiece rather than watchdog. Truth suffers. So does trust.

This commentary isn’t about the media’s wholesale buy-in of a possibly mythical pangolin that caused a pandemic.

This is about other potential Wuhans — issues that social and mainstream media have put to rest and closed to honest examination. We are told: Vaccines are safe. Lockdowns are just. We must protect, and be protected from, children. All those statements should be open to debate — and dispute.

I have spent the last eight months attacking another insidious COVID myth. It holds that there is no early treatment.

This actual disinformation has led to deaths and debility. In reporting it, the guardians of media have endowed public figures and institutions with wisdom they surely did not and do not have. Once definitive, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization have reversed themselves on a potential Wuhan lab leak.

Then: “Extremely unlikely,” WHO said after a cursory probe.

Now: “Not convinced” the virus came from nature, said Fauci.

What else might they have gotten wrong?

‘Trusted’ News

Just months into the pandemic, research suggested that a handful of approved generic drugs could potentially quell COVID and save lives. By late last year, a safe drug that won its developers the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 had risen to the top: ivermectin.

Fifty-eight trials now show this 40-year-old drug, off patent since 1997, greatly reduces the ravages of COVID. It lessens severity, lowers hospitalization, and saves lives. Significantly, it also prevents infection.

That few Americans know this is a direct result of two things: First is an unreasonably high, and shifting, bar set by the NIH, FDA and WHO, which collectively reject, cherry-pick or ignore what is now a trove of studies. Second is a media campaign that upholds the anti-IVM dictum, using charged language – from “controversial” to “snake oil” — that makes doctors, medical journals and other media fearful of backlash.

In a case of government propaganda, the Food and Drug Administration actually warned against ivermectin last spring, based, it said, on “multiple” people sickened by an animal formulation, which turned out to be four. Moreover, FDA admitted it “hadn’t studied” the considerable data then available on treatment with the human form.

As government failed us, mainstream and social media did something unique in modern history. Google, YouTube, Facebook, BBC, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters and others conspired to shape content and coverage in the government’s image.

They called it, ironically, the Trusted News Initiative. It existed to ferret out falsehoods and declare certainty in a rapidly changing information landscape. The media became a COVID fact-checking apparatus, devoid of nuance or meaningful investigation.

In the wake of Wuhan relevations, some outlets are now correcting the record.

Vaccine OR Treatment

From the start, there was no room for both vaccines and treatments under the statute that has allowed millions of Americans to be vaccinated with an unlicensed, largely unstudied substance. The key mechanism on which this turned was the vaccine’s “Emergency Use Authorization,” which can be granted by the FDA only if there is “no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing or treating” a disease.

But even as the vaccine was minimally tested and maximally hyped, there was an alternative. Ivermectin.

“It’s the most effective antiviral agent we have,” Dr. Paul E. Marik, co-founder of Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, said in a conversation for this article. “If the WHO was to say that or the NIH — were they to approve ivermectin — the EUA for all the vaccines would become invalid.”

Ivermectin, said FLCCC president Dr. Pierre Kory, “would kneecap the entire global vaccine policy around the world.”

The choice was always vaccines OR treatment. Not both. Operation Warp Speed spent three times as much — $18 billion — to develop a vaccine as it did to develop a treatment. Moreover, money for therapeutics went largely toward costly new drugs, some of which failed and others still in development.  

The media did not question the oversight of existing drugs and emerging research. Instead, it became an arm of government in a shared single fixed goal: Vaccinate quickly and at any expense.

A Year Lost

America’s COVID Czar Anthony Fauci predicted in July of 2020 that an antiviral would be available by that fall. Then, last December he said his “highest priority” was a quick-acting COVID drug. In reality, NIH waited until April 29, 2021 to announce a large study of safety-tested, FDA-approved drugs. That was roughly 400 days – and nearly 600,000 U.S. deaths — into the pandemic.

Forget a few dozen studies – most from other countries — that universally agreed on ivermectin’s efficacy. Forget a peer-reviewed meta-analysis that showed 83 percent fewer deaths. Forget the experiences of hundreds of real treating doctors in the U.S. and around the world.

Viewed in the kindest possible way, that delay, that lost year, wasn’t so much intentional as institutionalized. U.S. treatments are driven by the integral and outsized influence of pharmaceutical money on the regulatory process, and no one was putting up $20 million for what are considered, questionably, the “gold-standard” of evidence-based medicine: randomized control trials.

Dr. Robert Malone, a vaccine researcher and inventor of mRNA technology, went bankrupt trying to repurpose old antiviral drugs to treat the Zika virus in the 2010s. “The investment community had zero interest because there’s no way to make a buck,” he said in a must-see podcast on pandemic missteps. “The financial incentives around drug repurposing are such that it doesn’t get done.”

Ivermectin is the penicillin of COVID, particularly when combined with other generics like fluvoxamine and the vilified but effective hydroxychloroquine. Now, however, as at the start of COVID, newly infected patients are still denied treatment and turned back into the community, often to infect others.

As Malone put it, “We’re sending people home and telling them not to come back until your lips are blue.”

“Were this a hundred years ago,” a Pennsylvania ophthalmologist named Neil Chesin told me months ago, “and Ivermectin was available, it would be used everywhere.”

Media Sees No Evil

The dereliction of duty, by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (with the Wuhan exception), Associated Press, USA Today and other media giants, likely cost many thousands of lives. The questions that were never asked, the issues never investigated, include:

–In April 2020, Fauci endorsed the high-priced anti-viral remdesivir, calling it the “standard of care” before the first study was published. Did anyone in those investigative powerhouses question the financial ties between the NIH and the drug’s maker, Gilead? Did they care that the study showed no mortality improvement, and the trial’s endpoint was changed to improve benefits so marginal that the WHO advises against the drug?

–Hospitals vehemently oppose ivermectin, forcing some patients’ families to obtain court orders to get it. Does this comport with their liberal use of treatments like monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma that are still considered experimental? Just 19 deaths were associated with ivermectin in 20 years; 503 were linked to remdesivir in its first year. Annualized, that’s roughly a 500-fold higher toll for remdesivir. Why is ivermectin — safe, FDA-approved — not used off-label, especially in dying ICU patients, when the potential harm is miniscule? 

–The COVID pandemic has led to the most widespread, government-sanctioned wave of censorship and authoritarian message control in American history. Rather than fighting this, the media carries the water. When Merck disingenuously disavowed ivermectin’s safety — a drug it gave away by the billion in a life-saving campaign against parasites — widespread media reports failed to note the company’s potential to make big money on patented new drugs on which it was already working.

–More importantly, the evidence in favor of ivermectin aligns so uniformly that the odds of it being wrong are infinitesimal. Why not read the studies? Why not talk to doctors who have used the drug and patients who have taken it?

The unholy alliance of media and money was foreshadowed at a 2016 conference on preparation for the next SARS epidemic. There, Peter Daszak, whose NIH funding for virus research in China is under scrutiny, emphasized the need to use the press. He is quoted in the proceedings:

“A key driver is the media, and the economics follow the hype. We need to use that hype to our advantage … Investors will respond if they see profit at the end of process, Daszak stated.”

So far, the hype has prevailed. But it can be wrong. Can we now talk about ivermectin?


Mary Beth Pfeiffer is an investigative journalist and author of two books. A list of her article links can be found here. Follow her on Twitter: @marybethpf.

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.


  1. I am wondering where is Warren Buffet and Charley Munger stands? They should look at what the Washington Post is doing. They can’t be under the spell of Bill Gates not to see through.

  2. Dr. Peter McCullough, an American professor of Medicine and Vice Chief of Internal Medicine at Baylor University is trying to tell the truth about Covid as a political tool.

    It has long been evident that the pandemic was a planned attack on people, governments, and institutions. Bill Gates has funded many programs devoted to reducing human population of Earth and has funded trials of both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin that either delayed giving results or skewed the results to demonstrate ineffectiveness or danger of these two safe and effective drugs. Dr. Fauci has advocated against these two inexpensive and successful drugs and influenced policies that have already caused millions of deaths and will likely continue to cause perhaps billions of deaths and heartache when the long term effects of the vaccines have begun to manifest throughout the vaccinated population.
    May God bless you for your having shared the news of Ivermectin’s preventive and curative powers. If you look into other uses of Ivermectin, you will find it is a broad spectrum antiviral that is an effective treatment for many diseases.

  3. At its core, the need for profits and effective therapy can be very uncomfortable bedmates. And any system of centralized medical authoritarianism can be corrupted by crony capitalism. Pfeiffer has written an excellent summary of how these two processes have wreaked havoc on those most vulnerable — the trusting patients.

    Decentralizing authority may be the real challenge for practitioners of medicine in the future. Giving doctors more latitude and their patients more rights and options as to the therapies and drugs they wish to employ towards the general well-being of everyone is a worthy debate.

    Pfeiffer’s elegant essay is a starting point. Much hard work lies ahead in identifying appropriate reforms, and hopefully it won’t be a rushed job like an mRNA vaccine. And some tried and true systems akin to Ivarmectin could come in handy.

  4. Very thoughtful and logically laid out evidence in that article. To people where that message resonates, it’s hard to know how to move the ball forward. One idea is to shame media to “come clean”.

    Consumer Reports is a non-profit. They don’t take advertisements. They also have a history of standing up to government agencies that are not doing their job and calling out regulatory capture and the business/government revolving doors. I don’t know if it will help, but I wrote a letter to the editor:

    I found your article “How to cope with Covid-19 right now” very disappointing. I expect more from Consumer Reports since you really are supposed to be on the side of the average person. In one breath, Consumer Reports talks about the revolving door between, and conflicts of interest among government, lobbyists, and NGO’s. Then, in the next breath, you want us to believe that just because the NIH says “not enough evidence”, we should essentially do nothing when the symptoms of Covid arise?

    In your article, you say the NIH says there’s no evidence vitamin C and D and zinc help with Covid-19. What you should have said is that the NIH if of no help when it comes to treating early Covid, but there’s mounting evidence for treatments that other groups all around the world have been testing that show effectiveness in various stages of the disease. Ivermectin, for example, is a very safe drug, already approved by the FDA and has treated billions of people safely for parasites. Even though the organizations that are supposed to be protecting public health have said Ivermetin is “not an antiviral”, Ivermectin has been tested in dozens of randomized control trials for treating Covid-19, and has proven effective. The trials include thousands of patients and the effectiveness is significant. There are also population studies that show an undeniable effect. But there’s no money to be made on a repurposed drug, so the news is buried. People around the world who have “other jobs” have tried to bring the news to the forefront, but with obstacles at every turn. If you wrote that article without reviewing or, then shame on you. If you did review those groups and still wrote the article the way you did, shame on you again.

    The NIH, FDA, and other institutions we look to for guidance have not put public health at the forefront during this pandemic, and so we need organizations such as yours to step up and tell your readers what those institutions are not saying.

  5. Another systemic failure of government. A failure to do even the most basic requirements of infection control: Keep the ill away from the most vulnerable and pull out all the stops to “stop the spread”. This is a much bigger failure than even 9/11. From the very beginning it was never about stopping the spread of an out of control virus engineered in a bioweapons lab. If it was we would have taken the prudent steps that Taiwan did. BTW, Taiwan is the worlds canary in the coal mine because they learned their lesson 20 years ago with SARS. Instead we didn’t have a public health response, but a political one. Why was the CDC the lead on this? Their organization title tells it all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I don’t see disaster response in their title like say the Federal Emergency Management Agency whose sole mission is to plan, train, and respond to emergencies and disasters. Why they were not at the forefront puzzles me. Why was the chief administrator of the CDCs U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases front and center? An octogenarian administrator who hasn’t touched a a patient or worked a bench in decades, if ever, with zero disaster management experience is the chief advisor to the president. Strange. Unless, as an administrator his real job was to frame the message or divert attention or possible culpability.
    It is overwhelming that viable, safe, and effective treatment was propagandized and hundreds of thousands died. Please keep a spotlight on all of this because there very much needs to be accountability.

  6. Thank you!

    I have been writing to Colorado Public Radio (CPR) to report on invermectin but the response is silence. The last time they mentioned ivermectin was when reporting about a malaria study in 2018.
    Ivermectin was developed in the early 1980s as a drug to fight parasites that cause river blindness and elephantitis. Smit and his colleagues hope it can also help eradicate malaria.

    In their study, the researchers demonstrate that three high doses of ivermectin make human blood deadly to mosquitoes for up 28 days after the third treatment. This high dose of ivermectin was also well-tolerated with few side effects.

    “The most exciting result was the fact that even one month after [the subjects took] ivermectin, their blood was still killing mosquitoes,” Smit says. “That’s much longer than we thought.”

    To reach these conclusions, researchers at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya gave 47 participants 600 miligrams of ivermectin in tablet form for three days in a row. Blood samples were obtained from these participants six times and then fed to mosquitoes in cages.

    “We put the blood in an artificial membrane that mosquitoes could bite on and then watched,” Smit explains. “Most died within a week after [drinking] the blood.”

    Two weeks after feeding, 97 percent of the mosquitoes had died.

    Another group of 48 patients were given a dosage of 300 milligrams but the mosquito death rate was not as high.

    Either dose is higher than usual. More than 2.5 billion ivermectin treatments have been distributed since 1987 for the treatment of parasitic infections, typically one annual dose of up to 200 milligrams.

    In this study, Smit says the high dosage of 600 milligrams for three days was well-tolerated. Participants reported few side effects, though he admits everyone in the study was already hospitalized and receiving treatment for malaria.
    – – – – –

    So, thanks for taking the investigative duty seriously.
    CPR was really allowing an open, uncensored format during the interview with Dr. Smit.
    Now, you can do a search on CPR and you will not find a word about ivermectin since then. I told them to forget who funds their radio program and get back to cutting edge investigative journalism.

    Restore!, Inc.
    A Compassionate Colorado Company

  7. The citizenship deserve this option he made available.
    The manufacturers deserve to act on their behalf and be paid by taxpayers.
    A mechanism could be created to bring this to fruition, fill this gap.
    Who has the capacity to achieve this? Who can recognise the untapped potential? Whose *responsibility* is this?