Monthly Archives: May 2022

Where is our next Joe Strummer?

By Kent R. Kroeger (Source:; May 17, 2022)

Nearing the 40-year anniversary of the mostly forgotten US Festival concerts (which were held in 1982 and 1983), I am reminded of one of the bands that performed in the 1983 concert…

“The only band that matters.” That was The Clash’s moniker among the London-based punk band’s fan base.

Yes, it was a pretentious, overwrought slogan, but nearly 40 years removed from the band’s meteoric rise and fall, I’m still reminded of how different they were from other bands, past and present.

Along with The Sex PistolsThe Clash — Joe Strummer (lead singer/songwriter), Mick Jones (lead guitar/songwriter), Paul Simonon (bass), and Topper Headon (drums) — were the vanguard of the British punk movement in the mid-1970s. No exaggeration, they were The Beatles of punk rock — or, closer to what Strummer might say, they were the anti-Beatles.

[Strummer once mentioned he preferred The Rolling Stones over The Beatles, in part because The Beatles didn’t sing with British accents like The Stones.]

Where the Pistols were known more for their ceaseless, drug-fueled nihilism than their musical talent (predictably ending in the drug overdose death of their mercurial front man, Sid Vicious, in February 1979), The Clash were musically tight and smart, often preferring parabolic, socially observant lyrics over the Pistols’ self-destructive paganism. The Clash gave us elegancia punk.

[That isn’t to say the Pistols were bad — they were, in fact, great. And while most music critics will recommend their only studio album — Never Mind the Bollocks — in my view, no song better represents the Pistols than their rendition of Jingle Bells (…if that song doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, check your heartbeat).]

As talented and politically-conscious as U2 (and Bono) were in the 80s and 90s, their uncredited mentors were The Clash, because of all the rock bands I’ve admired over the years, no band has ever been as uncompromising and consistent in its politics, and that was a reflection of their lead singer, Joe Strummer.

The Clash were to the left of the leftiest on the left — and that is back when the term ‘left’ meant something politically in the U.S. and U.K.

Andwhen Joe Strummer sang ‘I’m so Bored with the U.S.A.,” I knew he was sincere — he really was bored with the U.S.A.

While Jones often wrote pop-influenced, self-reflective songs (“Lost in the Supermarket” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” come to mind), Strummer would put listeners in a figurative headlock and noogie the bourgeois delusions out of them.

And no moment in rock-n-roll history better exemplifies this point than the 1983 US Festival concert held in San Bernardino, California over that year’s Memorial Day weekend.

The dreamchild of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and concert promoter Bill Graham, the US Festival was the Reagan generation’s answer to Woodstock —and like its 60s precursor, was a money loser.

And no concert is more poignant to Clash fans, as it would be the last time the band would perform together.

Perhaps knowing that, Strummer let out a timeless, scorching onstage rant against Western materialism and inequality, at one point taking aim at the organizers of the US Festival, the well-compensated musical acts appearing there, and even the audience itself:

“Alright, then here we are, in the capital of the decadent U.S. of A. This here set of music is dedicated to making sure that, those people in the crowd who have children, there is something left here for them later in the centuries…

…I know the human race is supposed to get down on its knees in front of all this new technology and kiss the microchip circuits. It don’t impress me ever much. It ain’t nothin but a “You buy! You make, you buy, you die!” That’s the motto of America. You get bums to buy it. And I’ll tell you those people out in East L.A., they ain’t gonna stay there forever. And if there’s anything gonna be in the future, its gonna be from all parts of everything — not just from one White way down from the middle of the road. So, if anybody out there grows up, for fucks sake!!!

Yeah, I suppose you don’t wanna hear me go about this and that and what’s up my ass, uh? Try this on for size…well, hi everybody, ain’t it groovy…ain’t you sick of hearin’ that for the last 150 years. Look, I know you’re all standin’ there lookin’ at the stage, but I’m here to tell you that the people that are on this stage and are gonna come on and have been on it already, we’re nowhere! Absolutely nowhere! Can you understand that?”

Strummer didn’t make many friends in the music industry that day, some eagerly pointing out that The Clash were paid $500,000 for their US Festival appearance — a large sum for a one-night-only performance.

Van Halen’s David Lee Roth would respond to Strummer the next day during their US Festival performance: “The only people who put ice tea in Jack Daniels bottles is The Clash, baby!”

I’m still not sure of David’s point. The Clash weren’t real rockers? The Clash were British? Who knows. I’ve never considered David Lee Roth remotely funny — which is one opinion I share in common with the late Eddie Van Halen.

A bland but more coherent response to Strummer came from U2’s Bono.

“Nobody twisted my arm to come here,” the self-consciously inoffensive Bono said during U2’s performance on the Festival’s third day. “I’m here because I want to be here.”

Bono then proceeded to pick out a big-breasted woman from the crowd, have her carried on stage next to him by a couple of stagehands, and let her bounce her ample mammaries for the next few minutes.

In the early 1980s, the political correctness memo hadn’t reached rock bands.

So went the 1983 US Festival — a four-day musical menagerie that may not have generated any additional wealth for its organizers, but nonetheless provided some great music, an entertaining pissing-match between a few bands, and one of The Clash’s greatest concert performances, albeit its last.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve listened to an entire U2 or Van Halen album in the last twenty years. I listen to entire Clash albums at least three or four times a year — a frequency I only exceed with The Beatles, Kate Bush and Neil Young.

I don’t miss David Lee Roth’s schtick or rock vocal stylings. It had its day. And, anymore, I turn off U2 songs when they start on the radio (except when its “One”).

But I miss Joe Strummer. He was truly unique and the band that made him famous matters more than ever.

  • K.R.K.

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A Starter’s Guide to the “The Clash” Song Catalogue

Strummer’s singing voice is a cross between someone’s excessive gargling and a dying woodland animal.

I’ll admit, he’s not for everybody. But neither is Bob Dylan or the late Janis Joplin, and they certainly don’t have to apologize for their singing careers.

So here is my list of not necessarily The Clash’s or Strummer’s best songs, but the easiest songs to appreciate for first-time listeners, starting with songs from Strummer’s last band before his death, The Mescaleros.

Mondo Bongo” —Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (2001)

This may be Strummer’s most famous song as it was included in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But beyond the mainstream accessibility of this tune, it is also incredibly lovely and hypnotic. In fact, you’ll want to find a dance partner from the moment the song starts.

Redemption Song” — Written by Bob Marley; performed by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (2003)

From the album Streetcore, Strummer starts this Bob Marley masterpiece by saying, “People can change anything they want to.” Whether I agree with the sentiment, you can hear the emotion in his voice and he not only does the Marley song justice, he gives us the song’s best cover version, in my opinion.

Minstrel Boy” — Lyrics by Thomas Moore; arranged and performed by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (2002)

Lyrics written by the Irish poet Thomas Moore, The Mescaleros’ arrangement in combination with Strummer’s voice is heartbreaking — in a good way. It may be cliché to say the song transports you to a different place and time, but it really does.

Know your Rights” — The Clash (1982)

My favorite song from Combat Rock — The Clash’s last studio album under the original group lineup — there is probably no Clash song that could be plunked down in today’s music scene and be more pertinent. What “Know your Rights” lacks in lyrical sophistication, it more than makes up for in it’s political sensibilities. Sings Strummer:

“You have the right not to be killed. Murder is a crime. Unless it is done, by a policeman. Or an aristocrat. Oh, know your rights.

You have the right to food money. Provided you don’t, don’t mind a little investigation, humiliation…and if you cross your fingers, we have rehabilitation.

You have the right to free speech. Unless you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.”

As neoliberal political forces worldwide continue to suck the life out of working class people through their ongoing effort to stop the formation of worker unions, kill universal health care, spend public monies on ‘guns over butter’, and censor any speech they fear, this song deserves a relisten.

Atom Tan” — The Clash (1982)

The Clash loved the ‘call and response’ technique and this song from 1982’s Combat Rock album beautifully displays their penchant for that lyrical pattern. ‘Atom Tan’ is an unabashedly catchy Clash tune with lyrics I don’t fully understand…and who cares? It’s a fun listen.

The Clash’s ‘Combat Rock’ album was their most commercially successful effort, even as some hardcore fans dismissed the preternaturally catchy “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”; but for the rest of us, danceable songs like “Rock the Casbah” (the music video’s embarrassing Arab stereotypes notwithstanding) gave us some solace knowing that our favorite band would probably not survive into the next year. Strummer-Jones wrote Lennon-McCartney level songs and this album mostly proved that point.

Armagideon Time” — Written by Willi Williams; performed by The Clash (1980)

My best friend in high school would mock The Clash because they couldn’t spell ‘Armageddon.’ But the song was written by Jamaican reggae musician Willi Williams and was, by intent, a mocking critique of end-of-times theologies — the title’s improper spelling was part of the song’s point.

For me, as it wasn’t a Clash-written song, I loved how Strummer mangled Williams’ lyrics, such as when he replaced the original lyric of “remember to praise Jah-hov-iah” with “remember to kick it over.” Like John Lennon, Strummer was never against forgetting a few lyrics now and then — often for the better.

And if you love inventive drumming, pay attention to Topper Headon’s work on this song. Before heroin compromised his reliability as a band member, Headon was as good a drummer as any in the rock-era.

Hitsville U.K.” — The Clash (1980)

Sure, this song is a too consciously unpunk to be taken seriously, but at this point in the The Clash’s career, I’m not sure they cared.

“Here I am, thirty years later, in f**king Serbia, on the brink of crying because of a song celebrating bands I’ve never listened to. Is there any other band like this? Probably no,” posted gorgvalhal on YouTube about this song.

Found on The Clash’s three-album mega-opus, Sandinista!, an album that still divides Clash fans. Apart from George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and a few live concert and best-of releases, no band had ever issued a triple-album before The Clash. In fact, The Clash gave up a good chunk of their royalties because they priced Sandinista! as a double-album release, instead of as a triple-album. Their break-up a few years later was, in part, because of this brave by costly financial decision.

Ivan meets G.I. Joe” — The Clash (1980)

Also found on Sandinista!, “Ivan meets G.I. Joe” might have been the most divisive song on the band’s most divisive album. Even I tended to skip over it.

But, in retrospect, it couldn’t be a better reflection of the times. In the context of a Cold War that was about to end, the use of video game sound effects was too unsubtle, but upon a renewed listening, the song’s goofy charm is hard to deny.

Charlie Don’t Surf” — The Clash (1980)

The Vietnam War had ended five years prior to this song, but The Clash couldn’t help but take a post-mortem slap at American military adventurism. The lyrics still work:

Charlie don’t surf and we think he should.
Charlie don’t surf and you know that it ain’t no good.
Charlie don’t surf for his hamburger.
Momma Charlie’s gonna be a napalm star.

Its another Clash song from Sandinista! that mashes any musical style they can get hold of, and they somehow make it work.

Junkie Slip” — The Clash (1980)

Elvis meets Stanley Clarke and Sid Vicious. This Sandinista! song about heroin addiction defies easy explanation. And, frankly, I’ve never met anyone who has liked this song. “It’s too kooky,” one of my fellow Clash-loving friends would say. Nonetheless, it’s on my short list of great Clash songs.

The Sound of the Sinners” — The Clash (1980)

This song combines message and humor as well as any the band ever wrote. So much so, Elvis Costello called this his favorite Clash song. The Clash have better songs, but this is one of the hidden chestnuts on Sandinista!

Death and Glory” — The Clash (1979)

This is my favorite Strummer-dominated song from their classic London Calling album, probably because I first heard it while in Catholic school and it was a bit naughty. But, forty years later, I appreciate its musical maturity, and any song with Strummer’s cackling scream and Jones’ McCartney-like harmonies ages well.

Jail Guitar Doors” — The Clash (1979)

This Jones-led song is a pure rocker with a sharp British accent.

The “Wayne” referred to in the beginning of the song is MC5’s Wayne Kramer who started a non-profit that plays concerts, donates guitars, and has song writing workshops for incarcerated people in America. He called the program “Jail Guitar Doors.”

The song was released on the U.S.-version of The Clash’s 1979 self-titled album, probably the best pure punk album ever recorded. These Strummer-featured contributions on this album are all punk rock classics: “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.,” “Career Opportunities,” “White Riot,” and “Janie Jones.”

London Calling may have been their Sgt. Pepper, but The Clash self-titledalbum was their Revolver.

Gates of the West” — The Clash (1979)

I love the lyrics to this song that was an outtake from the band’s Give ’Em Enough Rope album:

So, I’m standing at the gates of the west.
I burn money at the lights of the sign.
The city casts a shadow of the perfect crime.
I’m standing at the gates of the east.
I take my pulse and the pulse of my friend.
The city casts a shadow, will I see you again?

Mick Jones penned this masterpiece of punk melody, as he was always Strummer’s songwriting equal. He was McCartney to Strummer’s Lennon and it worked so organically that in the short period in which they were songwriting partners, they wrote as many great songs as The Beatles did in a similar period of time.

Remote Control” — The Clash (1979)

Musically, Remote Control is one of The Clash’s most sophisticated songs. Only Strummer and Jones can write a punk song about repression and injustice and unapologetically include Beatlesque harmonies, which would have gotten any other punk band at the time jumped in an alley. “Beatlemania has bitten the dust,” Strummer once snarled, but that didn’t mean Strummer and Jones weren’t willing to occasionally pay homage to Lennon and McCartney’s musical genius.

[In my humble opinion: For all of the presented toughness of the British punk bands of the 1970s, a young John Lennon could have easily pummeled any two members of The Clash or The Sex Pistols in a straight-up fight. ]

Rush” — Big Audio Dynamite (Mick Jones)

I throw this Mick Jones post-Clash song for its great drum beat, its mashup of musical styles and its inclusion of one of my favorite lyrics of all time: “Now I’m fully grown. And I know where it’s at. Somehow, I stay thin, while the other guys got fat.”

Wishful thinking and medical research are a dangerous mix

By Kent R. Kroeger (Source:; May 13, 2022)

Disclaimer: I am statistician by training, freelance writer by choice, and an auditor at Amazon out of financial necessity. All grammatical errors and factual inaccuracies in this essay are mine alone. And, as always, do not make financial, medical or personal decisions based on the contents herein.

“Wishful thinking is one thing, and reality another.”
— Jalal Talabani (former President of Iraq)

“Where there is life, there is wishful thinking.”
— Gerald J. Lieberman (author)

One controversy I’ve generally avoided writing about is the disputed effectiveness of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19, a drug that is an empirically-proven treatment for parasites in humans and animals and whose discoverers won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their effort.

But a drug that works for parasites is not necessarily effective in treating (or preventing) COVID-19. That conclusion requires significant direct evidence.

The initial optimism in ivermectin’s use for COVID-19 was rooted in indirect evidence with multiple pre-COVID-19-pandemic studies showing that ivermectin has antiviral properties against a variety of viruses, including influenza, Zika, HIV, and Dengue (a representation of these peer-reviewed studies is found hereherehere and here).

But the interest in ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment accelerated after an in vitro study by Caly et al. (2020) reported that ivermectin significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2’s replication in a cell culture model. [SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.]

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic there was substantial scientific evidence to warrant calls for more systematic research on the potential use of ivermectin in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, but it was the intersection of this prior research with an understandable desire to find a cost-effective treatment for COVID-19 that ultimately drove mass interest in ivermectin.

No conspiracy theory or fake news fancy drove interest in ivermectin — to the contrary, it was scientists, physicians, and public health experts who wanted to find a cost-effective COVID-19 treatment that could be deployed in parts of the world where prohibitively expensive treatments and vaccines were not an affordable option.

The current list of “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved” COVID-19 treatments is currently defined by expensive drug treatments:

Remdesivir costs $2,340 for a five-day course treatment for COVID-19. While Pfizer’s antiviral, Paxlovid, costs $530 for a five-day course, and Merck and Co.’s antiviral, Molnupiravir, costs $700 per five-day course. In addition, Sotrovimab, an intravenous monoclonal antibody drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology Inc. costs $2,100 per treatment course.

By comparison, the vaccines are significantly more affordable than post-infection treatments, but in a world where two-thirds of all people live on less than $10-a-day, the costs for COVID-19 vaccinations are also exceedingly exorbitant to billions of people.

Among the mRNA vaccines (i.e., Pfizer and Moderna), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reimbursing providers about $40 for each shot of the vaccine they administer in order to cover the labor involved.

If you are like me, you are on COVID-19 booster shot number two.

Simply put, even if these vaccines were available to everyone on the planet (they aren’t!), the costs associated with them are not an option for the majority of humans.

Hence, a deep and profound interest in cheap treatment alternatives — call it wishful thinking— has driventhe worldwide interest in drugs such as ivermectin.

In contrast, the mainstream media in the U.S. has aggressively (and cruelly) impugned the motives of anyone suggesting ivermectin is a useful treatment for COVID-19.

Unfortunately, for everyone invested in this debate, the science for and against ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 is not clear enough from a statisticians point-of-view to justify either side from claiming the highroad.

I do not know what value ivermectin offers in combating COVID-19.

Instead, wishful thinking seems to be driving most of the narrative on ivermectin. On one side are the ivermectin advocates who are driven by an understandable belief that affordable treatments for COVID-19 already exist and will be crucial in mitigating the impact of this virus, particularly in the developing world. On the other side are economically powerful entities (with well-funded lobbying efforts) who are determined to stamp out resistance to the proprietary, highly-profitable vaccines and treatments currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, these anti-ivermectin forces cannot wish away the evidence showing that ivermectin may work to some degree against COVID-19.

Personally, I don’t believe the statistical evidence is strong enough to support ivermectin as a substantive treatment for COVID-19. From the reported clinical results I’ve seen, ivermectin offers, at best, only a marginal improvement in COVID-19 outcomes.

But that is not the same as saying ivermectin has no medical value in combating COVID-19. That conclusion is not obvious.

Even good science contains flaws

To shame those interested in ivermectin, the news media’s chosen posterchild for allegedly biased and fraudulent ivermectin research is an 2020 Egyptian clinical study led by Dr. Ahmed Elgazzar, a medical researcher at Benha University (Egypt). The randomized-controlled-trial (RCT) study he led of ivermectin’s effectiveness against COVID-19 was rightfully questioned for its poorly-documented random assignment protocols in which the control group (i.e., did not receive ivermectin treatment) was entirely drawn from intensive care units (ICU), but where the treatment group (i.e., received ivermectin) was drawn from both ICU and normal hospital care instances.

The critical component of an RCT study is that assignment to the control and treatment groups is entirely random. It is not clear that Elgazzar’s Egyptian study followed that requirement.

Though Elgazzar contends his study was withdrawn from publication before he was given a sufficient opportunity to address the study’s problems, the consequence is that his study contaminated the credibility of other ivermectin study’s that found some treatment effectiveness against COVID-19.

So when a meta-analysis of ivermectin’s effectiveness by Kory, Pierre, MD, et al. (“Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19.” 13 Nov. 2020) originally included the Elgazzar et al. study in its analysis (see Figure 1 below), the news media understandably questioned their conclusions.

Figure 1: Meta-analysis of the outcome of mortality from controlled trials of ivermectin treatment in COVID-19 [reprinted Figure 3 in original Kory, et al.(2021)]; (Odd-ratios estimates below 1.0 with credible intervals not containing 1.0 indicate ivermectin’s effectiveness against COVID-19)

The original publisher of the Kory et al. study sensibly issued a disclaimer:

That is exactly what good science should be doing — questioning the findings of researchers using flawed or questionable methods.

If only the large pharmaceutical companies faced similar challenges.

Dr. Kory and his coauthors issued a response to the editors of the American Journal of Therapeutics:

Their revised meta-analytic summary of ivermectin’s effectiveness was mostly unaffected by the exclusion of the Elgazzar et al. study (odd-ratios below 1 indicate ivermectin’s effectiveness against COVID-19):

Figure 2: Revised Figure 3 table in Kory, et al.(2021)

Because of the obvious flaws in the Elgazzar et al. study, are we to assume all research supporting ivermectin as an effective treatment for COVID-19 are equally suspect?

It is an archetypalexample of white European arrogance to suggest good science is not conducted in countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Iraq, and Iran.

There are well-trained medical research methodologists in all of those countries.

The developed world’s impulsive rejection of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 is unfortunate. The objective facts suggest ivermectin has some value against COVID-19.

Which brings us to the media-trumpeted study that purportedly proved that ivermectin does not positively impact COVID-19 outcomes.

The news media openly promotes bad research

The Together Study conducted in 2021 by Brazilian medical researchers concluded that ivermectin had no substantive impact on COVID-19 outcomes.

The American news media couldn’t be happier, as evidenced by these emphatic headlines:

Ivermectin Does Not Reduce Risk of Covid Hospitalization, Large Study Finds — The New York Times, March 30, 2022

Ivermectin does not prevent COVID-19 hospitalization, a new study says — NPR News, March 30, 2022

Study finds ivermectin, the horse drug Joe Rogan championed as a COVID treatment, does nothing to cure the virus —, March 31, 2022

Unfortunately, the research the mainstream media used to dismiss ivermectin was hardly better than the research supporting its effectiveness.

Like the Elgazzar et al. study, the Together Study had a curiously suspicious treatment/control group problem. A significant percentage of the control group in the Together Study (i.e., did not receive ivermectin) did not complete the study (see Figure 3). Where originally 679 COVID patients were assigned to the control group, only 228 were included in the ‘per-protocol’ analysis (i.e., followed the proper control procedures).

Figure 3: Sample disposition from the 2021 Together Study

Graphic courtesy of Phil Harper

More in-depth statistical critiques by Phil Harper and Alexandros Marinos of the Together Study can be found here and here, but the strange dropout of 451 control group participants during the course of the study begs one fundamental question: What happened during this study that would cause 451 people in the control group to violate protocols?

A plausible explanation is that these control group participants “learned” that they were not receiving the ivermectin treatment and decided to drop out of the study in order to receive that treatment. But that is pure speculation.

Harper states the potential ramifications of the control group dropout problem:

The ivermectin arm should have reported 21 deaths in 624 patients, as that’s how many patients fully completed the study. The placebo group should have reported 24 deaths in 288 patients, as that’s how many patients fully completed the study.

Instead each arm reported the number of deaths among the number of patients initially enrolled even though those patients did not complete the study. By not comparing like for like groups, all notions of ‘randomized control’ are gone from the trial, and it drastically alters the results.

These issues warrant an official response from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Putting aside the Together Study’s per-protocol sample problems, I am nonetheless drawn to the study’s statistical analyses that found a roughly 80 percent probability that ivermectin’s treatment value exceeded that of the placebo (see Figure 4). It is not significant by strict statistical standards, but it is suggestive that a more rigorous study might reveal a genuine benefit from ivermectin’s inclusion in a COVID-19 treatment program.

Figure 4: Probability of efficacy and Bayesian relative risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or extended emergency room observation for ivermectin vs. placebo taken from the 2021 Together Study

If anything, the Together Study increases my belief that ivermectin might be an effective treatment option for COVID-19 patients. But, of course, that is in direct opposition to the conclusions drawn in the news media.

We may never know the motives of control group participants who left the Together Study without significant follow-up research, but the more important point is that flawed research posed against other flawed research is not a formula for understanding the value of ivermectin against COVID-19.

Partisan and corporate interests are destroying the credibility of scientific inquiry.

That is not a good omen for our ability to incorporate quality science into the public policymaking process going forward.

Final Thoughts

As noted, there was enough circumstantial evidence at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to justify calls for RCT research on ivermectin’s potential repurposing for use against COVID-19.

Did it happen? Yes, but not in the U.S. or Europe. Rather, the early ivermectin RCT research occurred in countries where there was already substantial human-treatment experience with the drug for parasites (BangladeshBrazilIndiaIraq, and Iran).

Among the first RCT U.S. studies of ivermectin and COVID-19 is ACTIV-6a nationwide, double-blind clinical study led by Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute, which announced in August 2021(!) that the study would start including ivermectin as one of the repurposed drugs to be tested (along with Fluticasone and Fluvoxamine).

August 2021? Really? If ivermectin warranted study in August 2021, why not in August 2020? Or April 2020? Why the delay? My hunch…my fear…is that the combination of powerful private interests (i.e., the pharmaceutical industry, which funds most clinical trials in the U.S.) and toxic political partisanship killed any chance ivermectin ever had to be included in the early COVID-19 treatment research.

Even ivermectin is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, the fact that it took a year-and-a-half before the U.S. medical research community took any meaningful effort to study its treatment value is scientific malfeasance. If it turns out that ivermectin is an effective treatment option, it becomes criminal negligence.

  • K.R.K.

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