KY Gov: Misinformation Not A ‘Red Or Blue Issue’ Amid Surge Of Ivermectin Use

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 12: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speaks with UofL Health staff and volunteers at University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium on April 12, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. Monday marked the opening... LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 12: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speaks with UofL Health staff and volunteers at University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium on April 12, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. Monday marked the opening day for the new vaccination site, which contains 28 lanes for drive-up appointments. In conjunction with the Beshear administration and University of Louisville Health, the site is staffed by volunteers from UofL Health, AmeriCorps, the Kentucky National Guard, the University of Louisville School of Medicine and other community members. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 5, 2021 5:02 p.m.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Sunday decried the usage of ivermectin — the dewormer typically used on horses — as an unproven treatment for COVID-19 as his state experiences a significant surge in calls to poison control centers.

Asked whether there are certain groups of people who refuse to heed his warnings against taking ivermectin and if he would consider having other spokespeople try to get through to the unvaccinated during an interview on MSNBC, Beshear replied that he doesn’t view misinformation as a “red or blue issue.”

“When it comes to misinformation, I really don’t think this is a red or a blue issue, it is a fact versus fiction or a sometimes sane versus insane issue,” Beshear, who is a Democrat, said.

After mentioning that his first job was mucking stalls at a horse farm, Beshear said that taking a horse dewormer is “crazy under any circumstance.”

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“We are well past, I think, all across America, the, the populations that are going to listen to a government official and take the vaccine because of it,” Beshear said. “We’re probably past even the point where a local official, a pastor or others.”

Beshear argued that the country is at a point where people will need to “break that Thanksgiving dinner rule” by having tough conversations with loved ones who refuse to get vaccinated.

“They’re going to have to call or go see that person they love and care about that is unvaccinated, and they’re going to have to put their relationship with that person on the line because they’ve never been at greater risk,” Beshear said. “And I think it’s that type of caring, and the person who is willing to do that and to make that sacrifice that will finally get through to those that are not vaccinated.”

Beshear added that those uncomfortable conversations are happening in his state and that Americans need to follow suit.

“Yes, you might lose a friend because of that conversation, but that friend might lose their life if they don’t get vaccinated,” Beshear said.

The nationwide demand for Ivermectin as a “treatment” for COVID-19 has largely been spurred by misinformation from the right-wing media, anti-vaxxers and Facebook groups dedicated to tracking down the drug. Increased human usage of the horse dewormer has led to a significant surge in calls to poison control centers nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the FDA have advised against using the horse dewormer as a treatment for COVID-19.

Last week, Kentucky Poison Control Center director Ashley Webb said most of the center’s calls recently are from those trying to use Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

According to the Courier Journal last week, of the 13 calls related to Ivermectin misuse this year thus far (a jump from just one call last year), 75% of calls were from people who bought Ivermectin from a feed store or farm supply store and treated themselves with the animal product.

“These products aren’t formulated for humans,” Webb told the Courier Journal, referring to the different formulations of Ivermectin between livestock and humans. “Ivermectin has not actually been shown to treat COVID effectively.”

Watch Beshear’s remarks below:

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