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Residents in Wilcannia are the latest targets of Ivermectin trials

A spokesman from the ‘COVID Medical Network’ says that the town of Wilcannia is a ‘Petri dish’ for trialing the experimental drug Ivermectin.

The far-west regional NSW town of Wilcannia has seen COVID cases run rampant throughout the community.

Local radio host, Brendon Adams, received an email stating that a doctor from Sydney wanted to step in and help the predominantly Indigenous town by treating them with Ivermectin, a drug that would “get rid of COVID and prevent them from contracting it again.

Wilcannia struggles amid the COVID outbreak
Image: ABC News

Iver-whaaaat?

The drug is used as a treatment for parasitic infections in animals, including heartworm and ascariasis. In humans, it is used to treat head lice, scabies, and river blindness.

The email to Adams was sent by a man in Queensland named John Huntley, who alleged the established doctor was eager to treat the town with Ivermectin. The motivations behind this proposal were to “get rid of COVID and prevent [people] from contracting it again.

Huntley went on to state that Wilcannia was the perfect candidate for this treatment scheme due to its regional isolation that contained a high percentage of infected residents.

“We have to prove to the Officialdom that it does in fact work,” he said.

Yet, according to ABC, there is insufficient evidence that Ivermectin works in curing Covid.

However, despite the lack of evidence and FDA approval, other medical practices have taken to treating Covid patients with the drug.

A clinic in eastern Melbourne is currently prescribing the drugs to the public, an act that has attracted criticism from others.

I just thought it was really interesting that they were offering this service quite openly for an unproven, and frankly disproven therapy,” said Jacqui, a healthcare worker from Camberwell.

To corroborate this, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has explicitly stated warnings in relation to the use of Ivermectin for Covid treatment, supporting the notion that there is insufficient evidence.

Cases in Wilcannia reached 109 yesterday, which is 14.5 percent of the population.

Radio host of local Wilcannia radio is against the trialling of ivermectin in their already vulnerable regional community
Image: ABC News

The push to used Ivermectin in the community led Adams’ to accuse John Huntley – the sender of this proposition – of taking advantage of a community where people are sick, scared, and confused.

Adams made a statement to Guardian Australia,

“We’ve been experimented on for decades, and this is just a different group of people trying it out. They’re targeting vulnerable community members.” 

The email also suggested that other Wilcannia residents had already been contacted about Ivermectin. Adams commented that this is an example of a much bigger problem of misinformation being interjected by outsiders.

This mirrors a trend in the U.S, where right-wing media like Fox News have heavily advocated for Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment and preventative.

Sounds like…fake news.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Greg Hunt has also stated that Ivermectin is not approved as a COVID-19 treatment.

“This isn’t just happening in Wilcannia. We’re hearing this is happening in communities all over the far west. The information they’re pushing is not reliable, it’s not resourceful. We need them to stop and leave our communities alone. We’ve got enough to deal with at the moment,” Adams commented to Guardian Australia.

The COVID Medical Network was reputable in 2020 during Melbourne’s lengthy lockdown when they organised an open letter signed by hundreds of doctors who argued that lockdowns had a greater health risk than the actual virus.

Since then, the Network has changed its angle by perpetuating a series of controversial views like the promotion of unapproved Covid treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin in addition to questioning the efficacy of vaccines and the reliability of PCR tests used to detect the virus.

Guardian Australia states that they have attempted to contact the senior representatives of the Network for comments but to no avail.