Joe Rogan Has Covid – And His Treatment Will Make Health Experts Sick | Coronavirus
Joe Rogan, the host of Spotify’s most popular podcast, has contracted Covid, he said on Wednesday. He says he’s feeling better – but his health update no doubt made health experts instantly sick.
On Instagram, the podcaster, who claims not to be “a health authority” but has discouraged young people from getting the coronavirus vaccine, said he “immediately threw the kitchen sink” on his infection. Among the many drugs he used, he said, was ivermectin, a drug used to deworm horses.
Rogan, described by The New York Times as “one of the most consumed media products on the planet,” has legions of dedicated followers. Some episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience have had tens of millions of downloads, and his recommendations for everything from supplements to shaving supplies can be a boon to businesses.
That is why its apparent approval of a drug that has been completely unproven as an effective treatment for Covid-19 is of concern. Although ivermectin can be prescribed to target parasitic infections in humans, the United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for use against the coronavirus. In high doses, the FDA warns, it can be dangerous, with side effects such as “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance) , convulsions, coma and even death ”.
But after an Australian study last year that found ivermectin could kill Covid in a lab, discussions about the drug exploded online. Right-wing politicians and talk show hosts have been promoting it – even as the very researchers behind the study warn against it. In the United States, prescriptions for the drug rose from 3,600 per week before the pandemic to more than 88,000 in a week last month, according to CDC data. At the same time, poison control centers have seen ivermectin-related calls explode, hitting five times their usual rate in July, the Washington Post reported.
Rogan’s announcement isn’t his first widely criticized ivermectin tango. The June 22 episode of his podcast features an interview with Dr. Pierre Kory, who testified before US senators in December about ivermectin and called it a “wonder drug.”
But experts strongly disagree and strongly warn against self-treatment with the drug. “I am begging people to stop using ivermectin and getting vaccinated because it is the best protection we have at this point,” toxicologist Shawn Varney told The New York Times. “Everything else is risk after risk. A study touting the drug was withdrawn due to ethical concerns, with the authors apparently simply using a thesaurus to edit paragraphs in press releases about the drug.