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Andy Harris and ivermectin: an argument for gerrymandering | READER COMMENTARY

Equine veterinarian Kate Hodson holds a box of ivermectin-containing horse medicine after administering it to horse, "Trouble", in the barn at her Hebron, Illinois home on Monday, September 6, 2021. (Kyle Telechan for the Post-Tribune)
Equine veterinarian Kate Hodson holds a box of ivermectin-containing horse medicine after administering it to horse, "Trouble", in the barn at her Hebron, Illinois home on Monday, September 6, 2021. (Kyle Telechan for the Post-Tribune) (Kyle Telechan / Post-Tribune)

COVID-19 vaccinations, mask mandates, medicinal remedies — all once the purview of science have now ventured into the specious realm of political debate. Case in point is how U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a physician, has been taken to task for prescribing ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasites and worms (”Rep. Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist, says complaint was filed against him for prescribing ivermectin to treat COVID-19,” Nov. 16).

The problem is this drug comes in two formulations, one for humans and one for animals. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that human ivermectin has no positive effect on the COVID-19 virus, and the animal version, available over the internet, can cause serious health problems, even death, in people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 24-fold increase in ivermectin poisonings through August of this year.

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In the political arena, conservatives in elected office are chomping at the bit as they sense a political payoff if they support patients in getting the drug. Republican-majority state legislatures, including those in Tennessee and Alaska, are discussing bills to increase access to ivermectin, even attempting to protect physicians who prescribe it and pharmacists who fill.

Invermectin has received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. An Ohio judge went so far as to require a hospital administer ivermectin to a demanding patient.

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Obviously, Andy Harris has jumped on the ivermectin bandwagon. I’m no fan of gerrymandering, but I’m seriously reconsidering.

Otts Laupus, Elkridge

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