Will Cain

Timeline: Fox News has repeatedly promoted ivermectin as a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19

Fox News hosts and guests have repeatedly promoted ivermectin as a prophylactic or therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and ivermectin manufacturer Merck have all warned against using ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19.

There’s been growing evidence against the efficacy of ivermectin, a drug most commonly used to treat animals, in coronavirus treatment. Recently, a popularly cited study about ivermectin as a “miracle” COVID-19 treatment was retracted. The FDA has also highlighted the drug’s “very dangerous” side effects if taken to excess or in combination with other medications -- especially the livestock version, which is highly concentrated and toxic to humans.

In August, poison control centers across the U.S. were overwhelmed with calls about ivermectin. And in states with surging COVID-19, many stores have reported shortages of the drug due to its incorrect usage as a COVID-19 treatment; in Oklahoma, many stores sold out of needed supplies for horses and other livestock. In Mississippi, one person was hospitalized after taking the drug from a livestock feed store to treat COVID-19.

Many right-wing media outlets and grifters have championed ivermectin, citing and amplifying an outlier group of physicians. Various groups on Facebook are promoting ivermectin usage to treat COVID-19, and the platform is doing seemingly nothing to stop them.

Here’s a list of examples of Fox News promoting ivermectin:

  • 2020

    • Frequent Fox guest Dr. Harvey Risch hyped hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin on Laura Ingraham’s show, discussing them in the context of schools and other places reopening and calling them “the answer for everything opening.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 10/20/20]
    • Frequent Fox guest Dr. Ramin Oskoui suggested that therapeutics like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin could have prevented over 100,000 deaths as they have been “very successful and very safely used in most of the world.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 12/1/2020]
    • Host Laura Ingraham claimed that “the medical establishment” held a “concerted campaign to vilify and dismiss and demean, and, frankly, lie about the effectiveness” of therapeutic drugs, including ivermectin. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 12/8/20]
    • As the coronavirus vaccines began to roll out, Fox host Maria Bartiromo gave Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) a platform to push for early treatment via therapeutics, namely ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, 12/13/20]
    • Host Laura Ingraham complained that the media and the medical establishment mocked and censored her guests for promoting therapeutics such as ivermectin.  “But here's the thing,” she continued. “Those who dared to think for themselves were right, and the TV experts were wrong.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 12/14/20]
  • January 2021

    • Host Laura Ingraham’s frequent guest Dr. Harvey Risch touted his study that pushed for the use of therapeutics such as ivermectin: “There's many drugs that can be used. As we've seen this week, colchicine is another drug that can be used, favipiravir, ivermectin. There's a whole now repertoire, armamentarium, of drugs that work in early treatment.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 1/29/21
  • February 2021

    • Host Laura Ingraham listed ivermectin among therapeutics that are “good to take.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 2/2/21]
    • Host Maria Bartiromo and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) attacked social media platforms for removing Dr. Pierre Kory’s Senate testimony promoting the use of therapeutics, specifically ivermectin. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, 2/7/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham: “We have the science. We only have hundreds and hundreds of years, thousands of years, probably, of viral science on our side — and ivermectin, NAC, hydroxychloroquine, and emerging antivirals and therapeutics that provide enormous benefit.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 2/12/21]
  • March 2021

    • Host Laura Ingraham: “You never hear Fauci talk about that, or D3 or ivermectin, because they haven't even given emergency use authorization for ivermectin, haven't even put out anything about that.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 3/5/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham: “We know that our FDA has in many ways failed us by not allowing for the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, both of which are used around the world to reduce COVID hospitalizations and deaths.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 3/8/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham said, in response to her guest discussing hesitancy in ivermectin usage: “There always seems to be this bias against therapeutics that work in practice. They say, oh, this is anecdotal. It's always anecdotal, or they read the studies in the worst possible light, or say it's horse medicine.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 3/12/21]
    • Frequent guest Harvey Risch: Hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin “are demeaned and discarded ... because they're a threat to higher priced medications and vaccines that have been the goal all along.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 3/22/21]
  • April 2021

    • Host Laura Ingraham: “There's early intervention medicines that people can take as well, like ivermectin and others.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 4/26/21
  • May 2021

    • Guest Dr. Harvey Risch: “It was definitely a miss” for the FDA and the CDC to ignore therapeutics like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which are “well-tolerated, completely safe medications.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/7/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham: The experts at the CDC “were wrong about the benefits of vitamin D3, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and other drugs.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/11/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham said: “It’s criminal. … We lost hundreds of hundreds of thousands of people just because they would not allow any kind of over-the-counter generic use of drugs.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/27/21]
  • June 2021

    • Host Sean Hannity shared his platform with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who said the media “suppressed early treatment using things like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/2/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham: “The experts and the globalists that they serve” rejected “beneficial therapies like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 6/2/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham: “This was a bad week for those who made it their business to bash early-use therapeutics. It's not just hydroxychloroquine; they've done it with ivermectin.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 6/11/21]
    • On host Mark Levin’s show, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claimed that “literally tens of thousands of American lives might have been saved” with “cheap generic drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.” [Fox News, Life, Liberty and Levin, 6/13/21]
    • On The Ingraham Angle, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) promoted “hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin” as cheap COVID-19 treatments that “probably cost less than $50 per patient.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 6/14/21]
    • Host Greg Gutfeld: Youtube censored a podcast discussing “prescribing ivermectin for COVID, a practice done by other clinicians, given it has little to no side effects and, by their understanding, can reduce symptoms.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 6/14/21]
    • Host Maria Bartiromo attacked social media for censoring misinformation about therapeutics, while Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Dr. Pierre Kory promoted therapeutics, specifically ivermectin. Kory claimed that researchers have found ivermectin “leads to a massive reduction in the amount of patients who are dying” and that “they will never develop a drug that is more effective than ivermectin.” [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, 6/20/21]
    • Host Will Cain complained about Google’s censorship of ivermectin: “There's a good chance everyone listening at home has never heard of ivermectin, because Google has gone about censoring any discussions.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 6/21/21]
    • Host Will Cain described ivermectin as “somewhat of a miracle drug” and claimed “mind control” is behind social media rules against misinformation. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 6/24/21]
    • Host Sean Hannity complained that when politics and medicine intersect, politics wins: “When you talk about ivermectin and Regeneron and Operation Warp Speed and shutdowns, can we look back through the prism now of history and realize that politics, in many instances, won?” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/29/21]
    • Host Tucker Carlson claimed that ivermectin can be used to treat and prevent COVID-19 from spreading: “It's not some crackpot fish tank cleaner.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 6/29/21]
  • July 2021

    • Host Will Cain: “If it's extremist to wonder about the origins of COVID, if it's extremist to wonder about the utility of masks outdoors, if it's extremist to wonder about ivermectin as a therapeutic drug, then count me as a radical.”  [Fox News, The Five, 7/2/21]
    • Anchor Shannon Bream claimed “censorship” is limiting COVID-19 information about the lab leak theory and ivermectin use. [Fox News, Fox News @ Night, 7/8/21]
    • On Tucker Carlson Today, Bret Weinstein promoted using ivermectin “off label” over COVID-19 vaccines because “neither is perfectly safe, but I would say ivermectin looks to be quite a bit safer.” [Fox Nation, Tucker Carlson Today, 7/9/21]
    • During an interview with former President Donald Trump, host Maria Bartiromo stated that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine “may very well have been very important treatments for COVID-19.” [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, 7/11/21]
    • Host Sean Hannity: “We now have numerous studies about therapeutics Regeneron, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine that show that taken early, it can mitigate symptoms of COVID-19.” [Fox News, Hannity, 7/13/21]
    • Host Maria Bartiromo claimed ivermectin “actually could have been a very important treatment.” [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, 7/18/21]
    • Host Sean Hannity said, “I have never told anyone to get a vaccine,” later noting that he  “pelted [doctors] with questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine and therapeutics, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, Regeneron.” [Fox News, Hannity, 7/22/21]
    • On The Ingraham Angle, frequent guest Harvey Risch claimed that “for the breakthrough cases, for people who get COVID, treat them as outpatients with hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, other treatments that work very well, and that solves the problem,” adding that “the vaccines do a good but not great job, and so we need additional support besides just the vaccines.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/26/21]
    • Host Laura Ingraham pitted vaccines against therapeutics, praising “ivermectin being used all over the world with some pretty good results.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/29/21]
    • On The Ingraham Angle, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) attacked vaccine mandates and called ivermectin “what appears to be a pretty successful early treatment drug.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/30/21]
  • August 2021

    • Host Sean Hannity endorsed “incredible therapeutics” which are “often overlooked”: “The [monoclonal] cocktail known as Regeneron, the Eli Lilly version of Regeneron. Even, yes, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin. You get to decide.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/2/21]
    • Guest Dr. George Fareed promoted therapeutics like ivermectin: “We've used agents that are -- that we knew from the beginning were effective, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, azithromycin, doxycycline, zinc, and we go on now to add in monoclonal antibodies.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/2/21]
    • Host Sean Hannity: “Therapeutics like Regeneron and ivermectin as well as other proactive treatments and practices were already helping COVID-19 patients all across the country.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/6/21]
    • Host Brian Kilmeade promoted ivermectin as a therapeutic while claiming the Biden administration doesn’t want to treat COVID-19: “Treating an illness doesn't get your mask on, doesn't get your kids out of school, and it doesn't get your business closed.” [Fox News, Watters World, 8/14/21]
    • Host Will Cain recommended “promising therapeutics out there like hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, Regeneron” in place of a COVID-19 vaccine. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 8/18/21]
    • Host Will Cain paraphrased Dr. Harvey Risch, saying he told Fox that ivermectin “could reduce hospitalization and death by as much as 85%. 85%. But that conversation, it's not considered by the media. It's mocked.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 8/19/21]