Joe Henderson: A cow-deworming drug won’t help anyone combat COVID-19
Horese dewormer ivermectin is not an approved treatment for COVID-19.

But the medication Ivermectin is flying off the shelves in Florida because people apparently believe it's safer for humans to use than FDA-approved vaccines. It is not.

You’re about to read an “Only In Florida” story for the ages, even by the high bar we set for such things.

It started when too many people in our state convinced themselves they know more about medicine than people who studied the topic for decades. You betcha they won’t take an FDA-approved vaccine against COVID-19.

But offer them a cow and horse deworming drug called Ivermectin, and they’re all in.

They risk becoming deathly sick or just plain dead because their cousin knew a guy whose uncle told him about something he heard on AM-radio talk that the vaccine will plant a microchip in your head to make you believe Anthony Fauci knows something.

Talk show know-it-alls from Fox (of course) like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity weighed in with their theories on why the government (read: Joe Biden) doesn’t want you to know about how wonderful Ivermectin can be.

Why? Oh, those people don’t need to back up their assertions with facts. Make it loud, scary, and find a villain. Voilà! It’s a formula for rating points.

So, now we have folks risk turning themselves into worm’s meat by stampeding to feed stories and clearing the shelves of the drug designed to help large animals avoid worms.


Well, these things have consequences, and this time it’s a doozy. According to Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the drug is sold out in Florida. The patients that really need the treatment — you know, cows and horses — will go without until stores can restock.

“Our feedstocks are out,” Fried said. “This is a product that is supposed to be used for animals, and so, of course, when the feedstock is out — whether it’s for cows or for horses — and our industry can’t get them, that’s a problem.”

We pause to reflect that Florida is the gift that keeps giving to late-night comedians and caustic wits everywhere. They want to know what we’re smoking down here.

There really is nothing funny about this, though.

As with most of these things, a shred of research suggested a small — repeat, SMALL — amount of the drug “inhibits the replication of (COVID-19)” in a test tube.

One day research may find ways to safely use the drug in the war against the virus, but it’s not this day.

Here’s why.

Class, behold a test tube. You can hold it in your hand. Scientists use these tubes to research important things because it helps them learn how to help people stay healthy.

Now, class, behold farmer Brown’s cow named Daisy. She’s a plump lass, weighing about 2,000 pounds. The drugs to treat her for worms pack a lot more punch because Daisy weighs a lot more than a test tube.

Yep. As the drugs flew off the shelves, people began ingesting stuff designed for a 2,000-pound cow (or horse).

Sure enough, many of those folks got sick, and some died.

That prompted the Food and Drug Administration to send a mooooving tweet that read: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

I’ll add this: Seriously, y’all. There are FREE vaccines that will do a much better job of protecting you against the virus. Run (don’t walk) to your local pharmacy or doctor and let the professionals help you live longer and better.”

But, alas, I think that idea makes too much sense for the times in which we live.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • JmjUSA

    August 30, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Henderson: who has for 42yrs slung enough of cow sh*t around is apt for this type of bs commentary..
    After slinging his dung, he took Bwian-steltzer-water from the ChineseNewsNetwork out to Jen & Berry’s for his rainbow sprinkled cow milk…

  • Davie Smith

    August 30, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Walco, Jeffers and other Veterinary supply houses have it on hand and available for shipping. It’s not out of stock. Lying and mistruths seems to be the standard these days. Sad

  • PeterH

    August 30, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    So Trumpsters are willing to risk taking a medication designed for animals ….because they refuse to get vaccinated.

    What’s next? Injectable bleach?

  • Dan Simeon

    August 31, 2021 at 3:20 am

    over 60 clinical trails support the use of IVM. Even the recent Oxford study showed an 82% reduction in hospital admissions AND it cut the average recovery time in half. It must be used in combo with Vit D,C and Zinc. Much fake-news hit jobs that reference NO clinical trials or evidence for their personal opinion. IVM helped my family – we used the FDA approved IVM version before the run on the pharmacies and we all beat covid in august with ZERO hospital time and zero lung damage. It also is used off-label to treat “long haul covid” and vax injuries. 80% of good drugs have off-label uses. IVM is a Nobel Prize winning medicine. The REAL problem is that it threatens the need for a jab, especially with jabbers getting covid and fully vaxed.

    • PeterH

      August 31, 2021 at 3:32 pm

      You’re posting Fake News Dan.

      A recent review of 14 studies involving ivermectin produced zero evidence that the drug is an effective means of treating Covid-19. As the study’s authors wrote:

      “Based on the current very low‐ to low‐certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent COVID‐19. The completed studies are small and few are considered high quality. Several studies are underway that may produce clearer answers in review updates. Overall, the reliable evidence available does not support the use of ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID‐19 outside of well‐designed randomized trials.”

      The use of ivermectin for Covid is based on a flawed trial in Latin America. The once published article HAS BEEN RETRACTED BECAUSE OF ITS ALTERED DATA.

  • Alben Pure

    August 31, 2021 at 3:39 am

    good article!

  • Ron Ogden

    August 31, 2021 at 5:17 am

    Ever heard of another veterinary medication that people like to use “off-label.” It’s called Fentanyl and it’ll kill you dead. Maybe you can show me copies of the pungent editorials you have written opposing its use. Oh, you don’t oppose its use. It’s “an American right” you say. Oh.

Comments are closed.


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