Sean Hannity: Horse Paster? I Don't Even Know Her!
Fox News host Sean Hannity, never one to let a good fabrication get in the way of reality, lied his fool face off Friday and insisted that he had never once recommended the deworming medication ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. But he did it on his syndicated radio show, so you couldn't see his fool face come off, and they put it back on him before his Fox News TV show.
Fact check: bullshit. Media Matters debunks the claim in hilarious detail, noting multiple occasions when Hannity did in fact say that ivermectin was a legitimate treatment for the deadly infection. This is where we remind you again that ivermectin is great if your farm animals have worms, but it doesn't do diddly for COVID, as seen recently in yet another controlled study. The new study, from Brazil, found that ivermectin did nothing to prevent hospitalizations or severe illness among people who'd been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Read More: Horse Paste Officially Horse Sh*t — Science
Hannity was absolutely certain he's blameless when it comes to spreading medical misinformation, all while spreading even more medical misinformation. Noting that infections are increasing due to the new BA.2 version of the Omicron variant, Hannity groused that the government had cruelly stopped letting everyone have monoclonal antibody treatments that had worked perfectly, although he left out the minor detail that all but one of those treatments were ineffective against Omicron (hey, that's only been known since January).
Then it was on to his lie about horse paste. Hannity asked his producer to back him up on his perfectly unblemished record of pure medical fact, as long as you ignored the previous 60 seconds.
Hannity: People wrote this story, by the way, that I had been telling people [to use] ivermectin. Linda, is that not the one thing that I kept saying, there’s not a single study that I’ve seen that shows that it works?
Producer: One hundred percent.
Hannity: And I've also said, and repeated, that the manufacturer of ivermectin said "Neeaah, we don't want it used for off-label use for COVID. [Hannity really made sort of a horse noise there — Dok] There's no evidence that it works.
Hannity then added that maaaaaybe some of his guests might have mentioned ivermectin as "part of their protocol; anecdotally they say it works,” and insisted that "there have been studies" that showed that hydroxychloroquine, in fact, taken early, mitigates symptoms." (Fact check: he didn't mention that larger clinical trials showed no such effects.)
Media Matters put together a fun video starting with Hannity's claim that he'd never once promoted ivermectin, followed by clips of Hannity very much touting ivermectin.
Including the multiple examples in the video, Media Matters notes that Hannity's show mentioned ivermectin at least 25 times during the pandemic, between December 2020 and early April of this year. However, maybe Hannity really is the good guy here, since his show only included the fourth-most mentions of the useless drug among all Fox broadcasts. Surely there's some sort of "Not as bad as Tucker" Miss Congeniality prize?
A few details! Note that by the time Hannity (like the rest of Fox News) was pushing horse paste, there were plentiful supplies of the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines available, which prevent deaths and hospitalizations for serious disease, but also help reduce the spread of the virus.
- July 13, 2021: "We now have numerous studies about therapeutics, Regeneron, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, that show that taken early, it can mitigate symptoms of COVID-19."
- August 2, 2021: "We're also going to discuss something often overlooked and that is the incredible therapeutics that are now being used to treat not just breakthrough cases, but all cases. That includes, yes, the [monoclonal antibody] cocktail known as Regeneron, the Eli Lilly version of Regeneron. Even, yes, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin. You get to decide.”
- August 6, 2021: "Therapeutics like Regeneron and ivermectin as well as other proactive treatments and practices were already helping COVID-19 patients all across the country."
Hannity's final mention of the miraculous horse paste was just a little over two months ago, on February 2, when he defended Joe Rogan for taking ivermectin along with a lot of other crap. By then, Hannity had backed off his earlier claims that ivermectin was clinically proven, but he certainly didn't say ivermectin was useless, just that he'd "never seen a study on ivermectin."
In conclusion, hooray for Sean Hannity, who managed to lie several times about treatments for COVID-19 while insisting he'd always warned people away from horse paste. Give that man a commemorative bronzed road apple from the county fair!
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.