Sen. Rand Paul: Hatred of Trump Preventing Potential COVID Drug Research Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 30 August 2021 11:21 AM
Sen. Rand Paul told constituents Friday that hatred of former President Donald Trump has kept researchers from investigating the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin and other drugs to treat COVID-19, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The Kentucky Republican spoke to 60 people in Cold Spring, Ky., The Enquirer reported.
"The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they're unwilling to objectively study it," Paul said. "So someone like me that's in the middle on it, I can't tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump."
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have warned people against taking ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasitic worm infections in livestock.
"You are not a horse," the FDA tweeted Aug. 21. "You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it."
A woman in the audience asked Paul, an ophthalmologist, why ivermectin wasn't more available. The senator answered he didn't know if the drug worked in fighting COVID-19 because there hadn't been enough research.
Following the gathering, The Enquirer asked Paul about the FDA and CDC warnings on ivermectin.
"I don't know if it works, but I keep an open mind," Paul said.
Paul spent a large portion of the town hall criticizing vaccine and mask mandates, The Enquirer said. He encouraged older people to get vaccinated but said it's a personal choice.
The senator, who contracted COVID last year, said people who already had the disease did not need the vaccine.
"I think I'm in the middle ground of the vaccines," Paul said. "CNN invites me on all the time. They have announcers calling me an 'ass' on TV. Then they have doctors saying I'm thoroughly anti-vaccine.
"You heard me, I'm not against the vaccine. I've already recommended if you're at risk to take it. It's still your choice if it’s a free country."
The World Health Organization in April found, based on a series clinical trials, that hydroxychloroquine "had little or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19," The Enquirer reported.
Paul, who has voiced opposition to mask mandates and questioned CDC data on the pandemic, has clashed several times with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top medical adviser.