QAnon supporters protest Chicago hospital to demand ivermectin treatment for Covid patient

Prominent conservatives like Michael Flynn and L Lin Wood have advocated for the Chicago patient

Maureen Breslin
Wednesday 08 September 2021 18:15 BST
Ivermectin users mocked in new Lincoln Project ad

A Chicago hospital has been targeted by QAnon conspiracy theorists insisting that a woman who is hospitalised with COVID-19 be treated with ivermectin, a medication primarily used to deworm horses.

Amita Resurrection Medical Center has faced a barrage of phone calls from supporters who have organised on the app Telegram, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Amita has also dealt with a small in-person protest by QAnon supporters, who continue to demand that the patient, Veronica Wolski, be treated for her COVID-19 infection with the unapproved medication, according to VICE.

Ivermectin has been lauded by vaccine-skeptics as a successful treatment for COVID-19. However, the FDA and CDC have both pleaded with the public not to take ivermectin for any coronavirus-related concerns. But some QAnon adherents believe that public health officials in the US are intentionally shielding valuable information about the success of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 from the American people.

This theory was only further fuelled on Tuesday when a claim that an Amita Medical Center doctor originally agreed to treat a patient with ivermectin, only to retract his agreement when the hospital disagreed, circulated on QAnon spaces on Telegram, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The hospital refuses to administer ivermectin due to public health experts who “do not advise use in COVID-19 cases”. This stance by the hospital was confirmed Tuesday by a spokeswoman.

These statements generated outrage among QAnon supporters, some of whom suggested smuggling in ivermectin to Ms Wolski, as reported by Block Club Chicago. QAnon supporters in favour of treating Ms Wolski with ivermectin include high-profile proponents like L Lin Wood, a former lawyer for Donald Trump who sought to advance the former president’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Mr Wood has claimed that he contacted the hospital by phone to implore them to treat Ms Wolski with ivermectin. He further stated that Amita had told him that ivermectin was not a part of the hospital’s protocol and that they would not administer it.

Additionally, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that former US national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was pardoned by President Trump following his guilty plea for lying to the FBI, made a statement on Telegram that called for prayers for the Ms Wolski. He called the woman a “friend and a patriot” when posting to his 285,000 followers.

Mr Flynn and Mr Wood have both been banned from Twitter after the platform began cracking down on Trump allies following the 6 January Capitol riots. In response, they are now active on Telegram.

Their involvement in the protest against the Chicago-based hospital has amplified attention on the situation, increasing phone calls and in-person protests via Telegram, such as one that was carried out Monday.

Olga Solares, a spokesperson for Amita Resurrection Medical Center, told the Sun-Times that she is aware of the ongoing efforts to encourage ivermectin, but that the hospital stands by its decision to follow public health experts and to not use the drug.

In a brief statement that indirectly addressed the situation, Ms Solares said, “At Amita Health, our first priority is the health and safety of our patients. Our physicians and clinicians follow the full guidance of the FDA and the CDC in the treatment of COVID-19.”

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