A reasonable debate about Ivermectin

Rebel Wisdom put together a good podcast, “Ivermectin, For and Against, with Tess Lawrie, Graham Walker & Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz.” Tess is for sure pro-Ivermectin and is the second author on a favorable Ivermectin meta-analysis. Graham and Gideon are skeptical of Ivermectin. Graham is an ER doctor. Gideon is an epidemiologist.

Either way, want I wanted to hear was bonafide advocates and detractors talk with each other, and it accomplished that.

FWIW If this was an Intelligence Squared debate, I came in to it hoping for a good performance from the pro-Ivermectin side. I felt, and still feel, like that “side” is being treated somewhat unfairly. I was disappointed, however, in that regard and am ow more skeptical of Ivermectin as a treatment and prophylaxis after listening.

Tess, while bright in many ways, may just not be the best advocate for Ivermectin.

At around 20:00, Tess is asked “What would convince you that Ivermectin doesn’t work?” and she responds (paraphrasing from memory): “Ivermectin works.”

It gave me a flashback to the Billy Nye and Ken Ham debate when they were asked what would change their minds. Ken said “You know what? I’m a Christian, and I know God’s word is true, and there’s nothing he could say that will cast doubt on that.” While Bill said “We would need just one piece of evidence” and then gave several examples.

Then somewhere around 55:00 in Tess is asked if there’s anything that should be censored on social media, and the very real example of ”bleach therapy” is offered (that’s where parents are encouraged to give children bleach to prevent autism, not Trump telling you to drink bleach). Tess is unmoved by the example and still categorically against censorship. I wonder what she’d say about PhotoDNA?

I worry that someone like Tess is too biased here. It seems to me that the pro-Ivermectin side has a lot of PR problems.

EDIT: Rebel Wisdom produced a well-researched background document on the topic. There is also a debate between Dr. Pierre Kory (pro-Ivermectin) and Dr. Luis Garegnani (skeptic) from June that is more congenial all around.