Fauci says NIH is studying whether ivermectin is effective against COVID-19

The National Institutes of Health are assessing whether ivermectin is effective against COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified to lawmakers that there have been mixed guidelines about the use of ivermectin against COVID-19 from different health agencies around the world, and the NIH guidance panel previously concluded there was not enough evidence to say whether it is effective against COVID-19.


"Ivermectin has had noncontrolled trials suggesting that it might be effective — mostly anecdotal," Fauci said. "The NIH active studies are doing a whole bunch of studies with ivermectin, as well as others, to try and settle it once and for all."

The World Health Organization has advised against using ivermectin for treating COVID-19, Fauci noted. The agency put out a statement in March 2021 saying that the drug should only be used in clinical studies until more data is available.

The drug is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use against certain types of parasitic infections.

Fauci's comments came during a Senate committee hearing. He was asked about ivermectin by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who said his constituents are unsure whether ivermectin is a better option than Pfizer's recent COVID-19 antiviral pill, Paxlovid.

Fauci said Paxlovid, which was authorized for emergency use in December, has solid evidence behind it. He said the pill treatment reduces the chances of hospitalization by 89% if it is taken within the first three to five days of a COVID-19 infection.

"There were no deaths in the Paxlovid group, and there were several deaths in the placebo group," Fauci said about the trial on Paxlovid.


The use of ivermectin against COVID-19 became politicized in 2021. In September, podcast host Joe Rogan announced he was treating his COVID-19 infection with ivermectin.

CNN covered Rogan's use of ivermectin and highlighted how the drug was used as a horse dewormer, though the products for animals are different than for humans. In October, Rogan confronted CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta over the coverage and accused the network of lying about him.

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