MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): My first guests this morning were studying and questioning potential treatments for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. And despite evidence of safety and efficacy of early treatment from at least one drug that's been on the market for treating other sicknesses, any mention of either ivermectin or, to a lesser extent, hydroxychloroquine was met with attacks and takedowns by political operatives and some media. Such mentions or posts were censored by social media.
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services reported it will spend more than $3 billion on developing and manufacturing antiviral treatments to treat COVID-19. In fact, Anthony Fauci was quoted as saying pills taken at home to treat COVID would be a powerful tool in our effort to prevent death from COVID.
But, to date, more than 600,000 Americans have already died in the last year. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was among the first to question why certain medicines were being ignored or criticized to treat COVID-19. He joins me right now, along with Dr. Pierre Kory, an infectious disease specialist whose testimony before Senator Johnson's committee was censored by Google's YouTube. Both men made the case that early treatment of COVID, even for those with mild symptoms, prevents later hospitalizations. So, why weren't we doing it? Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here this morning. Good to have you both. And, Dr. Kory, let me play a bit of your testimony in front of Senator Johnson's committee on treating COVID. Watch this.
DR. PIERRE KORY: Mountains of data have emerged from all -- from many centers and countries around the world showing the miraculous effectiveness of ivermectin. In early outpatient treatment, we have three randomized controlled trials and multiple observation, as well as case series, showing that, if you take ivermectin, the need for hospitalization and death will decrease.
BARTIROMO: That was in December of 2020. This morning, we have breaking news that everything you said was right from this new paper out of science on this. Senator, what happened here?
SEN. RON JOHNSON (GUEST): Well, good morning, Maria. Well, Dr. Fauci happened. Media arrogance, social media censorship happened. That -- that clip, that testimony from Dr. Kory, powerful testimony, was viewed by eight million Americans, who weren't satisfied with the NIH guidelines that basically do nothing. They wanted early treatment. It was pulled by YouTube.
But we all know that Dr. Fauci, he's not a modest man. You know, if you question what he did, apparently, you're questioning science itself. But you can look at how he stage-managed the COVID crisis and call it anywhere close to a success; 600,000 people died, trillions of dollars of economic devastation. He ignored early treatment. He probably helped sabotage the use of some of these things.
And, Maria, you have to understand that Dr. Fauci, people in the health industries, the media, the social media, they will never admit they were wrong on this, because, if they do, they're going to have to admit that literally hundreds of thousands of people didn't have to lose their lives, but for their censorship, their arrogance, and Dr. Fauci's mismanagement.
BARTIROMO: This is unbelievable. Dr. Kory, walk us through ivermectin. Now, ivermectin is a drug made by Merck. It has been on the market for a long time.
Now, this new news that we got on Friday that Fauci says they're looking for treatments for COVID now. One of the treatments that they're looking at is made by Merck. So, the ivermectin Merck drug is off-patent, right? The pharma companies aren't making any money on that because it's off-patent. Tell us about that.
DR. PIERRE KORY (GUEST): Yes, so that's correct. I mean, that -- that -- they do not make money off of ivermectin anymore. That's an old drug. Many, many different manufacturers make it. Briefly, that is one of the oldest and safest drugs we have. It's been given all around the world for -- for decades, four billion doses.
That testimony that you played that I gave in December, the evidence was convincing then. It's now overwhelming. Just yesterday, a paper by some of the top researchers in the world concluded that ivermectin leads to a massive reduction in the amount of patients who are dying. We're getting reports from all over the world from Mexico, that put it into their public health policy, that huge numbers of patients are avoiding hospitalization and death in Argentina and in certain states in India. We know it's working. It's working around the world. And nobody in the United States is hearing about it.
BARTIROMO: So, does this boil down to money then, Dr. Kory? I mean, this drug made by Merck, ivermectin, is off-patent. They're not making any money on it anymore. But now Fauci says he's looking at a drug that's going to be a patented drug made by Merck. Aren't the underlying chemicals the same? So now they're going to have that on patent, so that they can -- they can make a huge profit on it?
KORY: Well, that's -- I mean, that is so clearly -- it's a glaring example of the system that we're in, which is that for-profit medicines are favored, to almost the total exclusion of nonprofit medicines.
And so you see all of this money being thrown at pharmaceutical companies to develop new therapies, when we already have existing repurposed drugs that are highly effective. They will never develop a drug that is more effective than ivermectin.
I find it absurd. Our government just gave -- committed over $4 billion in two different areas this week to try to find an oral antiviral early treatment therapy. We have it now. We can save so many lives. This is a treatable disease. We’ve identified that drug. And it needs to be systematically deployed throughout the -- throughout the health care system.
BARTIROMO: Unbelievable. And also absurd, Senator Johnson, is the way you continue to get censored. So now you're banned from YouTube again temporarily. YouTube suspended you again last week for what they say was a violation of the platform's misconduct policy. What happened last week, Senator?
JOHNSON: Well, again, just what I have been saying for well over a year, as I have been trying to alert Americans to the fact that there are early treatment options and try and find them. They pulled that off.
BARTIROMO And, Dr. Kory, when I spoke with you over the weekend, you said this is analogous to penicillin. I mean, you think this is the biggest cover-up of all. What a massive, massive impact, with 600,000 of our fellow Americans dead right now because they were told not to have a treatment for COVID.
KORY: You know, it -- it's inexcusable. I mean, we -- my group -- and, again, my opinions are not just my own. I'm part of a group of the most highly credentialed, highly published doctors in my specialty. We’ve made numerous contributions over decades. And we did the work. We did the research. And we identified all of the evidence behind this. It shows that our agencies have ignored drugs such as this. And it's caused incalculable harm.
KORY: Again, we have identified the solution.
BARTIROMO: Yeah. And real quick on the paper that was dropped last night, what do you want to say about what we learned from this white paper from the science in terms of ivermectin?
Real quick, Dr. Kory.
KORY: I mean, they reviewed dozens of randomized controlled trials. And in the most accurate statistical analysis, they're estimating that 62 percent less death would occur. And that's the minimum of ivermectin is capable of, because not all of them were early treatment. Again, the key is early. The benefits that we're seeing for early treatment are massive. I mean, they prevent people from going to the hospital and dying.
BARTIROMO: Well, obviously, social media has...
KORY: I mean, I just wrote a thing. A hundred -- over 100,000 patients' lives would have been saved had the NIH instituted ivermectin when we presented to them in early January.
If they had done what Mexico did, over 100,000 American lives would have been saved. And around the world, if they'd followed our lead, we're talking about over a million lives, based just on that paper.