Dr. Pierre Kory: The War on Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and Other Cheap Drugs to Treat COVID-19
“We live in a system that favors high-profit medicines. Those are the only things in play, and they don’t work. They are failing,” says Dr. Pierre Kory, a pulmonary and critical care specialist. He’s the president of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.
Two years into this pandemic, why haven’t there been more clinical trials of repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19?
“It’s not about ivermectin. It’s about the pharmaceutical industry capture of our agencies, and how our policies are all directed at suppressing and avoiding” the use of cheap, repurposed drugs, says Kory.
Jan Jekielek: Dr. Pierre Kory, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Dr. Pierre Kory: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Mr. Jekielek: So Dr. Kory, you’ve been extremely active in early treatment and, frankly, treatment in general for COVID. You kind of stumbled into this in a way. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about what you were doing before the pandemic?
Dr. Kory: Yes. I’m a pulmonary and critical care specialist, which means I specialize in lung diseases, and also the care of the critically ill. I work in intensive care units. As the pandemic started, I was the chief of the critical care service, and the medical director of the Trauma and Life Support Center at the University of Wisconsin. So, I was sort of in the ivory tower, and I was a clinical leader in the intensive care unit.
My career’s really been one as an educator. I’m what’s called a clinician educator, so I’ve always been heavily involved in patient care and teaching doctors. I’ve tried to raise the next generation of doctors, particularly in my specialty. I’ve trained fellows that have wanted to specialize in my branch of medicine.
I also teach general medicine doctors. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of in my career is I’m considered a master educator. I’ve won lots of teaching awards, and that’s the thing that I found the most pleasure in. That’s really what I was, and what I was doing when the pandemic broke out.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, I’ve read that you’ve actually held three positions during the pandemic, none of which you hold currently.
Dr. Kory: Correct, yes. I keep charging through jobs.
Mr. Jekielek: What happened?
Dr. Kory: Well, I’ll summarize by saying each job I left for different reasons and under different circumstances. But they have one main theme which is if you speak out or speak up against the prevailing practice or policy, either of the healthcare system or of the hospital, and particularly if you do so publicly, hospitals don’t like that and they seek to quiet you or censor you. They’re kind of allergic to public-facing physicians with contrarian opinions.
I’ll tell you, I resigned my first job because I was in moral distress over how they were caring for patients, meaning they were offering them no specific therapies. I saw patients dying at rates I’d never seen before. I said, “I cannot remain a clinical leader under these circumstances,” and I resigned.
Mr. Jekielek: But because you had an idea about how you could care for them.
Dr. Kory: I mean, within four patients. You want to know how absurd this is. The thing that we knew almost immediately when we started taking care of these patients is number one, they were clotting like we’d never seen before. That first wave of COVID, that Alpha variant, I’ve never seen such degrees of clotting.
The clotting is still there. It’s not to the degree that I first saw in these patients. It was so overwhelmingly profound. Clearly, they needed blood thinners. You didn’t need a big randomized control trial. You just needed to know how to doctor. I saw them dying of untreated clotting.
The second thing is they were inflamed. They were in states of multi-organ inflammation to such a degree, they clearly needed something to suppress inflammation, that for which is corticosteroids. For me, it was a no-brainer. Give them steroids and give them blood thinners. I mean, that was just the basic first start. I was attacked for advocating for treatments that were not “proven.”
They didn’t have trials to suggest it was proven. And people saying that I might cause harm by using a treatment that, based on my years of experience—my expertise, my insight, and my developing knowledge of the disease told me to use—I was being told, “Don’t use them until a trial proves that you can.” I refused to practice under those circumstances and I refused to lead a team.
I had 17 ICU doctors under me, and I will tell you most of all of the hospitalists at that point were listening to me. I refused to sit in a position of leadership where my leaders were telling me to be quiet and to not advocate for these therapies, and so I resigned.
The second position I was in, I was offered a new contract suddenly after my ivermectin testimony in the Senate, where I advocated for the critical role and the need for a global deployment of ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of COVID based on what we had uncovered in the science that we had amassed. As you might know, the testimony went viral and the hospital was not happy.
They accused me of speaking for them and speaking on behalf of them, and they didn’t fire me. They offered me a new contract, which is in their right. They’re a private corporation, but it had about five or six different clauses restricting my First Amendment rights.
So I said, “No, thank you,” and I moved on. So I resigned from one, voluntarily left the other one, mutually left the other one. Then the third one I was fired, and I was fired with a baseless accusation that was unsubstantiated, undocumented; that I had said something untoward about the vaccines to a patient. For that I needed to be fired. It was a quick phone call, by the way. It was just one phone call, “We don’t need you coming around anymore.”
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and now, you didn’t stop working. I know that.
Dr. Kory: Well, I’ve always been working for the FLCCC (Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance). It’s a nonprofit organization for which I’m the chief medical officer and president. So I do work for them. I get a modest salary from them because that’s actually a 30-hour-a-day job. I mean, we’re literally in a world crisis every day in the organization, and so it takes up a lot of my time.
But I actually, the other thing that I do is I take care of patients and I’ve been doing it pro bono. I’ve taken care of hundreds of patients, outpatients throughout the pandemic, over the phone without cost. I just, anyone who reaches out to me, I help them. I plan to start up my own practice soon. I’m going to start a telehealth practice, and really focusing on COVID and post-COVID complications.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, where are we in terms of treatment because this has been developing. There’s, essentially, all these different treatments out there. There’s huge gradation in terms of how much they cost, how effective they are. I’ve been hearing that some of them are even negatively effective. Where are we in terms of treatment? Of course, let’s talk about both inpatient, which is where you started, and then this outpatient side.
Dr. Kory: Let’s talk about the United States because I think they’re the most absurd example of the deplorable state of where we are with therapeutics. Like, what is officially being practiced and recommended by our health agencies and deployed by our hospitals?
The best way to understand it is what you already mentioned, which is the cost. All you need to do is look at the cost of the medicines that are being used right now in this country compared to the two dozen compounds that have shown efficacy in trials across the world.
Every single agent that’s officially met the approval or recommendation by our agencies is extremely high cost. When I say there’s well over two dozen compounds showing efficacy, almost all of the others cost less than five dollars. Not one is recommended in this country, not even vitamin D.
So your question about where are we with therapeutics, it’s very hard to answer without getting angry because where we are with therapeutics is exactly where the system in which we practice leads us. It’s a system which essentially favors and is structured around the regulatory and/or approval of high profit, patented novel pharmaceutical industry products.
It is a system that systematically, and has for decades fought against the use of repurposed or generic drugs. I will tell you the most effective drugs that we and my organization have identified in this pandemic as being effective in this disease; they’re almost all—with maybe the exception of monoclonal antibodies—costing less than five dollars and have been around for decades. Not one is being approved in this country.
I’ve lately in my close study of not only COVID, and trying to understand how that system has failed in its response, how the US health system; I’ve become a close student of that system and now I see how it works. I now can explain their behaviors, and it’s essentially a system which marches in lockstep with the interests of the pharmaceutical industry and to protect their profits.
Those behaviors actually, and this is not an overstatement, it’s not hyperbole, have now reached a level of crimes against humanity. We already know the pharmaceutical industry has committed crimes over the last decades. I mean, just in the last two decades alone, they’re up to 6 billion in criminal fines, and that’s not counting the crime of the opioid epidemic.
So we know that they’re capable of criminal actions, and their criminal actions in suppressing and distorting the science around these low cost repurposed drugs have starved people of effective therapeutics; not only in this country but across the world. It’s led to millions of deaths.
Mr. Jekielek: A lot to take in.
Dr. Kory: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: I think when we were speaking earlier, you mentioned to me that hydroxychloroquine was one of the early repurposed drugs which was proposed, and has been used since in some places. But I think you told me you, yourself were pretty convinced it wouldn’t work; but something changed your mind along the way.
Dr. Kory: Yes. We were led to believe, and I say me, myself, my colleagues. I’ll say two things about what happened with hydroxychloroquine. At that time, myself and my colleagues were in the early formation of my organization, the FLCCC. We were really focused.
Our first protocol was totally directed at the hospital patient, and hydroxychloroquine was very quickly—we understood that it didn’t work in the hospita,l and also didn’t have a rationale for why it would work in a hospital. It had antiviral properties. Why would you give it two weeks into the disease?
So we never really had that on our hospital protocol. I think I used it in the first couple of patients, but I was very quickly not impressed with any benefits that I saw. I was really concerned about the harm, so we didn’t use it.
At the time as an organization, we were not focused on the outpatient arena because we’re all ICU doctors. But I will say that 2020 was what I consider the; so in this decades-long war on repurposed drugs waged by the pharmaceutical industry, 2020 was the war on hydroxychloroquine.
They, basically, through a number and series of actions, were able to convince the world’s health systems—the medical community of the globe—that hydroxychloroquine was an ineffective and dangerous drug while the opposite was true. I will say that we believed some of it.
When we saw all the negative trials, the only trials that were showing up in high impact journals were negative ones, meaning showing that it didn’t work or that it was toxic. So we were influenced and it’s essentially pharmaceutical propaganda that they use medical journals to convince doctors away from repurposed drugs. That’s what happened with hydroxychloroquine.
I have colleagues who fought that war. So the colleagues like Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Harvey Risch—they knew it worked. They knew that the preponderance of evidence showed that it worked. It was only recently—and I will say that I became convinced based on the preponderance of the evidence about six months ago—that it was an effective drug. I disagreed with my colleagues.
Dr. Marik put a lot more weight on the official published trials in the major medical journals. It was after reading Bobby Kennedy’s book where we learned what they did. What they did is they designed trials focused only on the hospitalized patient using essentially near lethal, toxic doses of the drug, where the treated patients did worse. They died more often than placebo. Using those trials, they convinced the world not to use hydroxychloroquine. They did that only focusing on the hospital.
I remember in 2020 when our federal government agencies came up with a policy, and they told the entire nation’s hospitals and doctors, “We are restricting the use of hydroxychloroquine to the hospital,” that was a criminal action. That was fraudulent. There was no reason why you would want to restrict it to the hospital.
You want to use it early in disease as an antiviral. Not only after they committed those fraudulent trials, and there was fraudulent papers and editorials in the journals that got retracted. But even after you retract something, the damage is already done.
So they put fraudulent studies published in major journals, like The Lancet. Then they retracted them and they literally prevented outpatient doctors from using it. After those trials came out, they actually canceled the studies of early treatment.
They canceled ongoing trials of early treatment of hydroxychloroquine. So the war on repurposed drugs—2020 was the war on hydroxychloroquine; 2021 has been the war of ivermectin. That’s the war I’ve had a front row seat and I’ve been fighting with every waking moment for the last year.
You know what the war of 2022 is? It’s a war on the drug called fluvoxamine, which is an antidepressant which has potent anti-inflammatory properties which greatly reduces the risk of death and hospitalization. By the way, that study, a large, multicenter, double-blind, randomized control trial published in The Lancet in November, what have our federal agencies done about that drug and that trial? They have ignored it. It’s called crickets.
The NIH has specifically avoided updating the recommendation on fluvoxamine despite it meets the level of evidence which purportedly the system runs on, right? Which is these large double-blind trials done by major academic medical centers. It has that, and the NIH refuses to update their guidance on the drug named fluvoxamine.
I believe, and I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy; it’s not a conspiracy. I believe they’re ignoring it and they asked the Infectious Disease Society of America to address it. You know what the Infectious Disease Society of America did about fluvoxamine in their recommendation? You know how they updated it? They continue to say, “Do not use outside of a clinical trial.”
They just did the clinical trial. It was phenomenally effective. So I’m just bringing up these examples because for me, although I’m known as an ivermectin expert and advocate for ivermectin, it’s not about ivermectin. It’s about the pharmaceutical industry capture of our agencies, and how our policies are all directed at suppressing and avoiding use of repurposed drugs. It has to stop.
Mr. Jekielek: So with hydroxychloroquine in this case, you said six months ago your mind changed. Was it your colleagues coming to you with studies that showed that it worked?
Dr. Kory: Yes. It became much more clear what was going on is that they were attacking drugs that were repurposed. So I decided to re-look at hydroxychloroquine and enough doctors were saying that it was working. I heard doctors from around the world who still found efficacy. Although we were really advocating ivermectin, I thought ivermectin was more potent than hydroxychloroquine, I looked back. When I saw the studies, I was astounded.
I mean, the sheer number of studies that have been done—observational, randomized—it’s over 200 studies. They’re all generally consistently positive, especially when you look at the early treatment aspect. They convinced us that it didn’t work, but that’s in the late phase disease. When you restrict the studies to just early treatment, they’re profoundly and consistently positive. That’s when I knew it was an effective drug.
It’s now on our protocols. The interesting thing about hydroxychloroquine, which is really interesting, is even though our organization, our protocols, they’re all combination therapies. We use multiple different agents working at several mechanisms. We have found that in Omicron, actually we just updated our protocols this week.
I now have hydroxychloroquine as the preferred agent against Omicron because the pathway in which the Omicron variant enters and replicates inside the cell, it utilizes a pathway that’s particularly specifically targeted by hydroxychloroquine.
In the last weeks as I treat patients, I’ve had patients on ivermectin. I add hydroxychloroquine. Then when they take them, numbers of patients have said, “I suddenly felt a lot better after you added the hydroxychloroquine.” So I’m seeing a robust clinical impact when I use that drug. Not only did we not have it on our protocols, it’s on our protocols and it’s actually a preferred agent now. Again, these are decades old, safe drugs used across the world.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, this is what I was thinking, but not too much. Having worked in Africa and other places where both these drugs are over the shelf used by millions in people for common diseases and so forth, but I didn’t think about it much further than that. I was just like, “This is weird.”
Dr. Kory: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: But just sort of accepted, going back a year or something like that, what the general guidance was.
Dr. Kory: The Sunday-Sunday medicine, right? They take it every Sunday in Africa because it’s a prophylactic against malaria.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes, for hydroxy. Right?
Dr. Kory: The hydroxy, yes.
Mr. Jekielek: Exactly.
Dr. Kory: Or chloroquine, yes.
Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned there’s been all these studies now done on hydroxy validating its efficacy as an early treatment. There’s also been a number of studies I’m aware of done about ivermectin. Actually, you’ve been involved in one that just, I think, came out from Brazil; a sizable one with some pretty strong results.
Dr. Kory: Oh, yes. I mean, that should convince any naysayer. It should convince, and it won’t because the biases against ivermectin run deep and run strong. But this trial is so unique in history. In fact, I don’t know of any other trial like it. First of all, it’s the largest study of ivermectin in the world in COVID. It is somewhere around 160,000 people in the trial and it’s a really unique study.
What happened is you had a city in Brazil called Itajaí. Hopefully, I didn’t butcher the pronunciation, but it’s a city in Brazil of German descent. They have a health system there which is highly computerized. They have excellent computer data record keeping systems. They also had a rather bold health ministry which decided to do a program.
They called it a program where they offered the entire city’s inhabitants the opportunity to take ivermectin as a preventative against COVID because they’d seen, I guess, the study from Australia showing that it was highly effective at killing the COVID in vitro.
This is June of 2020 and they basically announced it throughout the city. “If anyone wants to participate, come to a clinic.” They had lots of big clinics and centers. You could go and they would tell you about the program. They’d tell you about ivermectin and they recorded all the information of all the inhabitants. Out of the 220,000 inhabitants, I think it was 159,000 showed up and participated in the study. Of that 159,000, about 113,000 elected to take the medicine.
They took it the first two days of the month and then the middle of the month. So for two days at two points in the month, every two weeks. They did that for a six-month period. During that six months, the city prospectively recorded all of the data on all of the people who had enrolled in this program.
At the end of the six months, what they found was astounding. They found that in the 113,000 patients who purportedly regularly took the ivermectin, they were half as likely to get COVID, and they were 68 percent less likely to go to the hospital, and 70 percent less likely to die.
There was these profound benefits in protecting against infection, hospitalization and death in a study of 160,000-plus people. What’s even more remarkable about what they found is that when you look at the people who elected to take their medication, they were older. They were fatter and they were sicker.
They had more diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They had all the comorbidities which portend the worst outcome. Despite being obviously sick, which would limit the results of the study, they found profound benefits. So there’s no longer any question.
Another thing that’s even more remarkable about that study is at that time the health system of Itajaí offered no specific therapies to patients in the hospital. They did not receive ivermectin as a treatment in the hospital. They were only offered it as a preventative. Once they went into the hospital, they were given what’s called supportive care only—oxygen, fluids, something for fever, fever reducers.
When you look at the results of that study, I argue that’s the minimum of what ivermectin is capable, the absolute minimum of what it’s capable of. Because if you had employed any treatment strategy beyond that, I believe you probably could have saved everyone, whether you used a combination protocol or just continued the ivermectin in the hospital. I mean, it’s such an overwhelming result. I have to talk about the absurdity, corruption, the censorship, and propaganda.
That study has passed peer review. It is now open access, published in a reputable journal, and there are crickets across the world’s major newspapers and television stations. They are not covering it. In a different world and a different time, I mean, you could hear bells ringing in every town across the world, right? I mean, a cure has been found, right? You would think this would lead major headlines everywhere, and yet nothing.
This is not new. This censorship of this highly effective science and evidence around repurposed drugs, the censoring of it, it’s not new. It’s just getting more and more absurd, and it has to stop. I mean, they’ve already covered up the miracle of Uttar Pradesh, and now they’re covering up the miracle of Itajaí.
When I say the miracle Uttar Pradesh, you’re talking about a state in Northern India of 241 million people that effectively eradicated COVID by September of 2021 through mass deployment of ivermectin in the prevention, and treatment to all household members, everyone who tested positive, and all healthcare workers.
At a point in September of 2021, they had 67 of 75 districts without a single active case. That was not covered by anyone in the world. Two Indian newspapers covered it alone. Guess what word was missing from the entire article describing the miracle of Uttar Pradesh?
Mr. Jekielek: I have a guess.
Dr. Kory: What’s your-
Mr. Jekielek: Ivermectin.
Dr. Kory: Ivermectin was not mentioned in either article. I mean, that is the single greatest example of a censoring of life-saving critical medical information. It’s literally being censored around the globe.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s a huge population. I mean, that’s bigger than most countries.
Dr. Kory: When I say the miracle, because what they did is so remarkable. You talk about a state in Northern India, a very poor state that mobilized 70,000-plus healthcare workers that fanned out across the state. They visited something like 97,000 villages, armed with rapid testing, treatment kits, contact tracing, and quarantining. They did really what I would call old gumshoe public health, right? Contact tracing, surveilling, testing, quarantining, and treating.
They did that across the state and they obliterated the virus from its borders. That’s not talked about. I’ll tell you though, the WHO did talk about it. They put a page on their website really lavishing praise on Uttar Pradesh and their health ministry and what they did. Guess what word was missing from that entire report of Uttar Pradesh? It’s not mentioned anywhere. They had a brief mention that there was a treatment kit, but no mention of what was in that treatment kit.
Mr. Jekielek: What did they ascribe the ostensible miracle to?
Dr. Kory: It’s what all the newspapers did. They did not ascribe it to ivermectin. They described it to just excellent testing, contact tracing and quarantining.
Mr. Jekielek: I see.
Dr. Kory: We know how much that works with this virus. Right? It doesn’t work, but actually, they thought they did it so well. They credit it to their public health initiative, not to the treatment.
Mr. Jekielek: So in these kits, obviously they were multiple compounds and things, but ivermectin is the active ingredient?
Dr. Kory: Ivermectin is the main, by far. It’s the only medication that could explain the results.
Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned in this Brazil situation the hospital reality that they basically just gave fluids and so forth. I’ve been thinking about the hospital situation here in the US, because what is the generally accepted protocol? I’ve heard it isn’t a good one. Maybe I’ll get you to talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Kory: Yes. It’s hard to just keep talking about the failures of our system, but it’s a system that’s failed because it’s a corrupt system. I already talked about what they’ve done to early treatment. When you turn your attention, you look at the hospital, it’s again explained by cost. Everything that’s in play, with the exception of dexamethasone, is a high cost, high profit item. That’s what’s in play. Let’s talk about what that is.
They have recommended since the spring of 2020 remdesivir, which costs $3,000 a dose. They give it IV infusion over five days. They did it based on a study which purportedly showed a small reduction in the length of hospitalization. For $3,000, a dose of a medicine with well-known side effects that failed miserably in the Ebola virus; it not only showed it was toxic in Ebola, now it’s the standard of care in the United States.
What I find is the proximate cause of death across the world from COVID is a horrific undertreatment in the hospital with corticosteroids. The national policy, the NIH-recommended guideline dose is six milligrams of dexamethasone. That is a tiny, pathetic, anemic dose of corticosteroids. It is less than what I give 80-year-old patients with emphysema when they start to wheeze.
You have patients crashing onto ventilators with whited out lungs with very little gas exchange that is preserved, and they’re giving them what I call a homeopathic dose of a corticosteroid. We have now dozens of studies showing the higher doses you use, the more lives are saved. Yet they keep it at that artificially low dose. Everyone’s sticking to the protocol and people are dying from undertreatment with steroids.
It’s happening across the country and across the world. The science shows you need to use higher doses and they’re sticking to this dose. They try to pair it with these expensive, what I call, ibs and abs, like tocilizumab and baricitinib. These cytokine-blocking agents were also high-dollar cost by the pharmaceutical companies.
It’s the same theme over and over again. We live in a system that favors high-profit medicines. Those are the only things in play and they don’t work. They are failing and people are dying because they’re not being offered. They’re not being given effective medications because they’re too cheap.
Mr. Jekielek: I can’t help think about this. I’ve talked about this with a number of folks that I’ve had on the show, but traditionally, it’s the doctor’s responsibility to treat the patient based on what they understand to be the patient’s needs. There isn’t this sort of, here’s the one way that everything needs to be done from on high. That’s a new thing, isn’t it?
Dr. Kory: Unprecedented. Paul Marik and myself, we talk about it. What’s happened in COVID is absurd. Maybe the entire practice of medicine has been co-opted now. Literally, we are being told what to treat patients with, what dose and what duration.
When you try to stray from that, you do what’s old school, old fashioned doctrine, which is you put your head together, you figure out what’s working. You try a few things, you see the mechanisms of action. You try to come up with medicines to counter those. Anytime you stray from this almost totalitarian protocols that the hospitals are being paid to give, they’re getting bonuses for using these protocols, your career ends or your job ends.
I had to leave my hospital in order to take care of patients. I refused to take care of patients without being able to take care of them. Paul Marik’s career ended because they literally restricted his use of a number of repurposed drugs. They outlawed the use of his expert; by the way, he is essentially, probably one of the top world experts in the therapeutics around COVID. He’s more well read, more studied, more experienced on treating COVID than almost anyone, and his protocol gets outlawed from a hospital in view of the entire public. Why, there’s not an outrage or revolt.
I mean, yes, some newspapers covered it, but literally this is what’s happening. They are literally restricting. They’re not only restricting medicines, but they’re restricting physicians. That march that we’re going to tomorrow, it’s not just about vaccine mandates. It’s about all the restrictions and loss of our freedoms. It’s about the loss of autonomy of our physicians, the restriction to life-saving, effective, low-cost medicines.
I mean, it’s unprecedented. I’ve never, ever been told in my entire career that I can’t use a medicine. The only time it was; I think I’ve been restricted to use intravenous Tylenol because it’s extremely expensive. You had to get special permission to use it. But other than that, I’ve never been restricted to use any medicine that I thought would help my patient.
Mr. Jekielek: So, I mean-
Dr. Kory: Can I add one thing?
Mr. Jekielek: Yes, please.
Dr. Kory: Across the country, ivermectin, one of the literally safest medicines known to man, ivermectin throughout the country is removed from the formulary of almost all the hospitals. Any hospitalized patient, none of the doctors can use ivermectin.
It happened to me while I was working for a hospital. I worked for a hospital and the CDC, when they started their propaganda campaign against ivermectin, the CDC sent out a threatening memo saying that people were getting poisoned and dying of overdoses. That memo was quickly debunked.
The data supporting that memo has actually vanished. It was overstated and it was hyperbole, but yet the message was heard. The message was heard by the nation’s hospitals, physicians and pharmacists. The hospitals started removing it from formularies and the pharmacists stopped filling.
When you see this awesome power, and it’s not awesome, it’s fearsome power, of these agencies and their ability to control the practice of medicine in this country, it’s frightening. It’s terrifying what they’re capable of. With that one single memo, do you know how many thousands of people died because of the loss of the ability to get ivermectin?
I suddenly started calling pharmacists and I had pharmacists in my face telling me that they won’t fill it and that the FDA doesn’t approve it. It’s absurd. The CDC actually in their memo stated that the FDA has not approved ivermectin for COVID. That is a misleading statement, deliberately misleading statement.
Number one, the FDA doesn’t have to approve it for COVID. We don’t need the FDA for anything. It’s called off-label prescribing. It’s generally championed. It’s a very common practice in the system. It’s fully legal and it’s even encouraged when you don’t have an effective medicine. Yet the CDC puts in their memo, chiding the nation’s doctors that the FDA hasn’t approved it.
The FDA admits on their website they haven’t even looked at the data. No one’s going to pay for them to approve it. There’s no money behind ivermectin. It’s so open and unsubtle what they’re doing and that’s all I do is go around and talk about it because I’m trying to call attention to the absolute pervasive corruption in the conduct of this war on COVID. We’re being hampered and handcuffed.
If we had the freedom to treat this, man, this would’ve been in the rear-view mirror a long time ago. It would’ve been gone in 2020. Once everyone knew that hydroxychloroquine worked and then ivermectin and any number of compounds worked and they were in mass deployment throughout the country, you wouldn’t have all this fearmongering and all the societal disruptions. It would’ve become what it is, which is a treatable disease. This is a highly treatable disease.
Mr. Jekielek: I’m just thinking back to this story that as I was preparing for the interview, I found a popular story on The Epoch Times, a website. Basically, the headline is “Wife Stands Off With Hospital to Keep Her Husband Alive and Wins.” You know the Anne and Scott Quiner, I think you say, are you familiar with the case?
Dr. Kory: Yes, I’m familiar with that case and many of them, many dozens now cases of, in particular, the work of one lawyer who has successfully won most of the cases. I have to tell you as a physician, I don’t want to be in the position of treating a patient and having a lawyer tell me to use a medication that I don’t believe works. But there’s a simple solution on how to avoid that situation is, you read.
Physicians of the world, pick up a book and read, look at the studies. You can convince yourself it’s working. I don’t want to champion the idea that a lawyer or a family should use the courts to direct the care of their patient. But when there’s a corrupt action preventing a patient from getting access to a life-saving medication, bring on the lawyers. And that’s what they’re doing. These lawyers are winning these cases, but the hospitals obstruct at every turn.
The judges are given the orders, but then the hospitals say, “Not one physician in our hospital is willing to give it.” So they can’t give it. So then they’ll force them to find a physician and community who’s willing to write it. And then they say, “None of the nurses will administer it.” Then they have to hire a nurse to go in. And sometimes if they’re on a ventilator, put it down a feeding tube.
I mean, do you understand the level of absurdity and atrocity that we’ve been reduced to? Literally, you have lawyers advocating for one of the cheapest and safest medicines known to man that cost literally pennies to manufacture. And we have to get special permission from physicians and nurses to administer it because it supposedly doesn’t work, so says the FDA and the NIH and the CDC, “It has not been shown to be effective.”
Seventy-three controlled trials, almost every single one, with the exception of two. shows a benefit. Never in history has a medicine been tested so thoroughly; 26,000 patients in those trials, unmistakable, reproducible, consistent effects of benefit. And yet the NIH sits there and says, “It’s not proven.”
Mr. Jekielek: How does Omicron change the game? You mentioned one way that I wasn’t aware of at all is that you’re incorporating now hydroxy in your protocols, but I’ve been hearing it changes the game in all sorts of ways.
Dr. Kory: Oh yes.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s what I’ve been reading as well.
Dr. Kory: Yes. So let’s talk about more positive things because I think the future is bright in one respect. I hope that this endemic corruption gets uncovered and addressed on a structural basis in our system. But before we get to that point, Omicron really has changed the game. There’s several things you need to know about Omicron.
Number one, it’s generally much, much milder than the previous variants, in particular, Delta. And to give you an example of how, in November and December, last couple of months, that last wave of Delta, I don’t know what happened to it, but it was becoming really, really hard to treat. Ivermectin alone was not working. The combinations of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine was not sufficient.
If you look at our protocols, we have actually first line, second line and third line medications in the outpatient arena. I was routinely using all three lines of therapy, including early moves to prednisone. I was using prednisone more as an outpatient than I ever had because patients were getting sicker and quicker. So I sometimes had patients on six and seven medicines.
When Omicron came around, I started to notice that patients were getting better a little bit faster and they were getting better just on first-line medications. So Omicron, not only is it causing less death and less hospitalization on a percentage basis, the problem with Omicron is it’s so highly transmissible.
We’re talking about 800,000 positive tests a day in the US, which means it’s probably a million and a half, 2 million people actually getting sick on a daily basis. Even though the chances of hospitalization is so small, the sheer volume of our society that is sick at one time is causing a surge and a strain on the hospital.
So it’s still a problem, but it’s transmitting so fast and infecting such large swaths of the population that a lot of us are envisioning that probably by mid-February, late February, March, and you’re starting to see that in some of the state’s numbers, some of them are peaking and starting to skyrocket down, that we do believe that we’re going to be left with a major portion of the population with natural immunity. So you’re not going to see hospitals filled. You’re not going to see these crazy case counts.
What I’m talking to is dozens of people a day who are sick or reaching out to me for help. I mean, it’s not going to be this prevalent and overwhelming problem in society. Now, I don’t know if the fearmongering and this relentless push to vaccinate and boost everyone will stop. That insanity may still go on, but they’re going to be doing that on a disease that’s, A, not prevalent and, B, not deadly anymore.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting because it’s a lot of the vaccinated people that never had COVID that now will have natural immunity that will make it through the disease, which is a lot more people than the previous variants. I mean, that’s interesting and I think unexpected based on the messaging. Right?
Dr. Kory: It’s acting almost like a natural vaccine, right? It’s spreading throughout the population, generally well tolerated. Many people actually get it asymptomatically. Some just mild, it’s a head cold for one or two days. There is a significant proportion who I’m treating that have significant symptoms, but very few are getting severe symptoms.
So you’re right. It’s like the world’s best vaccine. Well, I shouldn’t say the best because some people really are suffering from it. But if it leads us to the other side of this pandemic and to widespread natural immunity, I mean, I think we’re waiting for that.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, what else are you seeing on this, what you say, on the positive front you opened up here?
Dr. Kory: Well, I’m not in the hospital anymore. So maybe the positive I’m seeing is because I’m not in those hospitals. Because from what I’m reading and understanding, they are strained, right? But I’m seeing a milder disease that people are generally tolerating. It’s easier to treat than the last phase of Delta. I’m starting to see numbers across many states which are now starting to go down. I think that’s positive.
I don’t think we’re going to be talking about acute COVID to the degree that we are now. One of the thoughts on Omicron and just the sheer numbers who are getting it is what’s going to be the incidence of long haul syndrome, right? Is Omicron going to give rise to a huge portion of the population with long haul or will it not give them long haul because it’s generally much more well tolerated and mild? That’s one of the things I think about in the future.
I do think acute COVID will wane and a lot of our protections, restrictions, and practices hopefully will lighten up, lighten up on the masks. If you heard Boris Johnson in the UK yesterday announced that they’re lifting all mask mandates, boosters, and vaccine passports. So I’m looking forward to that. To be in a constant state of a public health emergency for two years, I mean, I think everybody wants to move on and go back to some semblance of a normal life, and I hope that’ll happen.
Mr. Jekielek: It just seems bizarre to me that there would be in places like Uttar Pradesh a highly effective treatment that isn’t noticed, and having people trying to replicate what has been done there or now in Brazil, or noticing that the policies for large countries are changing dramatically. But at the same time, you have England, and then you have Austria, right?
Dr. Kory: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: Where I think it’s becoming mandatory to be vaccinated, period. I don’t know how that works, but wow.
Dr. Kory: The one thing I can tell you about the policies is so few follow the science. The science to support them have never been there. So the science to mandate this vaccine has never supported it because it’s never been as effective as it was claimed, and it’s never been as safe as it was claimed. In fact, that’s all been propaganda. So especially now, it’s so obvious the vaccinated are getting Omicron at a higher rate than the unvaccinated. Yet we’re still talking about boosting.
They’re marching through boosters. I mean, people have been boosted. Israel is on its fourth booster, and they’re saying it doesn’t even work. So you’re hearing data coming out of countries, and it’s always been discordant with the narrative here. Those policies will change and become more sane once that artificial and fraudulent narrative that they have been very successful at, right?
What I will talk about in regards to vaccines is we talked about censorship, right? What I’ve seen with vaccines is that science supporting the vaccines has not only been censored, so any inconvenient data is censored and/or retracted or not published. The journals are just not publishing any paper which critically analyzes the damage of the vaccines. But the efficacy is also censored or is propagandized.
All you see in every newspaper for the last year—safe and effective, safe and effective, safe and effective. Then when you look at the US data, they don’t even provide the underlying public health data in the United States. They stopped sharing public health data openly. But you look at other countries like in the UK; for many months now the majority of people in the hospital are vaccinated.
Yet here it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated, whether you think they work or they’re dangerous. I’m trying to call attention to the censoring and propaganda where you’re seeing discordant policies and data; so a vaccine that’s ineffective in another country is somehow very effective here, right? A drug that has been safely used across continents over decades suddenly becomes dangerous here.
I don’t know when that propaganda and censoring will stop. Maybe it’ll stop when COVID stops, but I don’t know when that’ll end and when these illegitimate and really illogical and non-scientific policies.
Those policies are not trying to achieve public health aims. They’re trying to achieve the interests of, I believe, corporate interests. That’s the only thing that cohesively explains why those policies are in place. It’s because when the science isn’t there, you have to ask, why else are they doing it? The easiest one that covers most of the policies are financial interests.
Mr. Jekielek: You’ve said that the hospital treatment is problematic, in your opinion; sort of the one size fits all existing treatment. Someone starts getting symptoms that look like they might be COVID, what should they do? You’re doing a lot of telehealth with people, as you said.
Dr. Kory: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: What should someone do at that point?
Dr. Kory: Well, my general; if they don’t have a doctor who offers early treatment, and we’re hoping that with our advocacy and our dissemination of the science around multiple different early treatments, our protocols being shared, it’s possible that the average person has access to a physician who’s doing early treatment, but it’s not likely. I mean, it’s possible but not likely. The majority of the doctors in this country are not doing early treatment.
So how do you find a doctor who offers early treatment? One of the only ways I can suggest is if you go to our website, as almost like a public service, we borrowed and built this directory. But people who’ve reached out to us, physicians in telehealth practices across the country, we try to list them as a resource. Many of them are telehealth where they operate in 50 states. They’re all overwhelmed right now.
I don’t know how timely you can get that kind of care, but that would be one resource and guide that I would offer. We’re trying to do that as a public health service; we’re trying to offer information on how you can find a doctor who offers early treatment.
Mr. Jekielek: What if they are overwhelmed? What if you can’t find somebody?
Dr. Kory: If you look at our protocols, not only do we have prescription medicines on there. We have ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, a number of other agents like fluvoxamine. But we also have over-the-counter products, vitamin supplements, and nutritional therapeutics. These are things that there should be no restriction. The only thing that would restrict you is a few dollars in your pocket, which is not a given for the average person.
But we have things as simple as povidone-iodine solutions or mouthwashes that are actually what are called viricidal. They’ve been shown in studies to greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization. If you start using that, remember all the virus is really concentrated in the nose and pharynx.
If you do these viricidal mouthwashes and/or nasal drops, which are found at any of your local pharmacies, and we have information on our website, that would be one way to gain agency, and give the ability to protect your health and treat this disease.
Then we have medicines like quercetin, melatonin, and aspirin all over the counter, right? We have nutritional therapeutics like Nigella sativa used across the world, a phenomenal study done in Pakistan where they show that Nigella sativa led to a large mortality reduction in the hospital when they combined it with honey.
Who knew, honey, right? Honey actually has all these antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. When you use those two things in combination, that also leads to a good outcome. So even without a doctor, even without a pharmacist, you can gain agency and you can hopefully, successfully navigate to the other side of an infection and regain your health.
Mr. Jekielek: Now let’s say the symptoms are starting to mount a bit. You’re noticing it. You’re not finding your doctor.
Dr. Kory: So…
Mr. Jekielek: I know there is maybe a blanket statement here, but I can imagine people being exactly in this situation.
Dr. Kory: No, it’s not a blanket statement. I’m going to answer it a little different. I’m going to say, when you asked me what should happen as someone gets more severely ill and/or develops what’s called the pulmonary phase, which generally requires the hospital, right? If your oxygen levels start to drop, generally the easiest access to oxygen is in the hospital.
Now, many of us who have done early treatment, we are starting to order and deploy oxygen to the homes of patients. None of us like doing that. We don’t like taking care of patients that are beyond the mild illness stage in the home, but we’re being forced to. Because I will tell you, some patients flat out refuse to go to the hospital. They know what’s happening.
They know that they’re going to be subjected to remdesivir and an artificially and ineffective low dose of corticosteroid. Whereas if they stay in the home and they have a doctor that can care for them who knows what they’re doing, and has learned how to treat early COVID, and can be aggressive with steroids, they are likely going to fare better than the hospital.
I’ve got to tell you, it’s a terrible public health message that I would suggest that someone stay home when they’re beyond a mild to moderate illness and/or they’re short of breath. So I’m not saying that they should stay home; but unfortunately, if your symptoms get to the point and your breathing is so compromised, and if you don’t have access to early treatments or a doctor who knows how to treat this early, you’re going to be forced to go to the hospital.
I mean, mild degrees of what are called hypoxemia are actually well tolerated. I think everybody forgets that and I’m not advocating that someone stays home in the state of what’s called hypoxia. But for many people, it’s not the emergency everybody thinks it is. I would say, it’s not an emergency if you’re undergoing good treatment and you can monitor it. So we generally recommend to everyone to get a pulse oximeter to monitor that at home.
If it decreases to a degree and/or you develop significant symptoms of breathing, you’re going to need to be evaluated in a hospital setting. My goal is to prevent that from happening. That’s my primary goal with every patient I come into contact with is at all costs—prevent the pulmonary phase; prevent the need for the hospital.
Mr. Jekielek: Just if I recall correctly, these general overarching protocols that happen at the hospital, basically they start at the point where the oxygen is going down. Right?
Dr. Kory: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: Everything up to now that you’ve been talking about is already outside of that scope of treatment?
Dr. Kory: Right, yes. I mean, patients who a year ago would be in the hospital, we’re treating some of them as an outpatient with more hospital-level drugs; again, when they start to develop pulmonary symptoms. But if you go to the hospital, I mean, our original protocol as an organization was called the MATH+ protocol, and it’s directed at the hospital patient. It’s a pretty considerable number of a combination of medicines that work at multiple different mechanisms.
Unfortunately, the MATH+ protocol is not the standard of care across the country. We’ve been told that it is in the Ukraine. So there’s a very prominent Ukrainian physician who invited Paul Marik, my colleague, to give a lecture there. We were told, and we actually saw one of their protocols, but it’s widely used in the hospitals. We even heard reports of a hospital in Germany that was very happy with our protocol. I think they’ve since dropped it or dropped the ivermectin.
I think because we’ve been under so much attack, I think they didn’t like the publicity or whatnot. Unfortunately, that’s not the protocol that’s generally being used. I don’t know if I feel bad about this. I just find it’s an unfortunate situation, but there are so many, I think, people now who’ve trusted our judgment, trusted our protocols, understand why our protocols are the way they are.
That we really are a data driven, putting patients first organization, and they want us to doctor them. And when they go to the hospitals, they ask for the things that we recommend and they’re put in this, it’s an unfortunate position of a physician and a patient disagreeing. They need to collaborate. They need to work together.
I will tell you, our advocacy is causing a discord and a tension between patient and physician. I really wish it could be avoidable. I think it is avoidable, but unfortunately a lot of the physicians are prevented from employing that protocol. They can’t even get ivermectin. They’re generally recommended from using high doses or maybe they’re not comfortable with it. I don’t know how to change that, but the hospital situation is a really terrible one.
I’m going to go back to my point again. I’ve written a couple of pieces now on my personal Substack where I go over the story of corticosteroids, and that my conclusion and one of my main messages is that people around the world are dying from undertreatment with corticosteroids.
It’s an artificially low dose and it’s ineffective, and it’s causing incalculable numbers of deaths in hospitals. I really wish we could deploy corticosteroids at a dose, a duration, and in a manner which was more effective. You could save lives if you were more aggressive with the steroids. We know this is a responsive disease and we’ve known that for two years now.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay. So as we finish up, I can tell, so this is part of your… I was going to ask for this sort of general prescription for the system that you would suggest. Of course, part of that is to be much more open to using higher dosages of steroids in the hospital treatment. But what else would you want to see happen right now?
Dr. Kory: One of our first and early thoughts was we just didn’t feel like the clinicians had a voice. What we were learning on the ground, and the frontline doctors, and what they were seeing from uses of drugs like hydroxychloroquine and/or whatever, we don’t seem to have a credible structure which allows us to have influence over policy.
Why can’t they convene panels of expert clinicians who have hundreds and hundreds, and some of us have thousands of patient experiences under our belt in treating this? We can share that knowledge.
So, I would love for much more transparent and open scientific dialogue that’s not curtailed and/or censored or suppressed or attacked with disinformation; saying we’re misinformationists. I’m trying to paint an imaginary world, because that’s not the world we live in; but it’s the world I want to live in. Right? So a much more free exchange; open and invited exchange of information would be one.
Then the other thing that absolutely has to change is I really do think that the health agencies essentially have to be destroyed structurally, and reconstituted in some manner in which you can remove the deep and widespread influence of the pharmaceutical industry. I don’t know what that looks like.
I don’t know how to restructure those institutions in that way, but I think there are good practices that would do a great job. I mean, the pharmaceutical industry is always going to be there. They’re so good at what they do, and they know how to influence people and policies. But I mean, I think we’ve got to give more power to the people to protect themselves against them because our health has suffered.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, Dr. Pierre Kory, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Dr. Kory: Thanks for having me.
Mr. Jekielek: We live in an age of weaponized information and censorship. To be the first to know about new American Thought Leaders episodes and related content, you can sign up for our newsletter at theepochtimes.com/newsletter. You can just hit the check mark on American Thought Leaders.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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