Federal Court Drops Hammer on FDA for Pushing False Anti-Ivermectin Narrative on Social Media

A U.S. federal court has ruled that Democrat President Joe Biden’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) overstepped its authority by promoting a false narrative on social media about the use of ivermectin against COVID-19.

U.S. Circuit Judge Don Willett, a President Donald Trump appointee, ruled against the FDA for telling Americans to “stop” using ivermectin to treat Covid.

In 2021, the FDA ran a campaign on social media to ridicule people who were using ivermectin as a Covid treatment.

The FDA falsely claimed that ivermectin is a medicine for horses and told the American people not to use it for treating symptoms of the coronavirus.

The federal agency was responding after people were self-medicating with ivermectin amid reports that the drug was highly effective in treating Covid.

However, studies have since confirmed that the drug is incredibly effective in treating the virus.

As Slay News recently reported, one peer-reviewed study found that ivermectin reduces deaths by 74%.

“FDA can inform, but it has identified no authority allowing it to recommend consumers ‘stop’ taking medicine,” Judge Willett wrote in his ruling.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA issued multiple statements discouraging people from taking ivermectin against Covid.

Accompanied by a picture of a horse and a link to an FDA webpage on ivermectin, the agency wrote in one August 2021 social media post:

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

The page it linked to is titled, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”

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Three doctors sued the FDA over its statements on ivermectin, as Slay News previously reported.

They argue that the agency cannot advise doctors on which drugs to prescribe.

Ivermectin is approved by the agency as an antiparasitic drug for both humans and animals.

Despite the FDA’s false claims, ivermectin is not a drug that is only intended for horses and cows.

It has a wide variety of uses and is regularly prescribed to humans by their doctors.

The FDA argues that it acted within its authority by pushing the false claims about ivermectin to the American people.

Federal law gives does the government immunity against legal actions.

Nevertheless, there are some exceptions.

One exception, known as ultra vires, is when an official acts outside their authority.

Plaintiffs challenging the acts must show that the official was “acting ‘without any authority whatever,’ or without any ‘colorable basis for the exercise of authority,’” according to an earlier court ruling.

The FDA does have the authority to share data and facts, the parties agree.

However, they diverge on whether the FDA can issue recommendations on medical matters, such as treatments.

The FDA has claimed that the posts do not contain advice, stating in one brief that they were “informational statements” that “do not ‘direct’ consumers, or anyone else, to do or refrain from doing anything.”

At the same time, the FDA acknowledged that the statements “provided recommendations” and “advise[d] consumers.”

“Despite these concessions, FDA never points to any authority that allows it to issue recommendations or give medical advice,” Judge Willett wrote.

“Rather, FDA argues that some posts included a hyperlink that leads to the update.

“The update, in turn, directs consumers to “[t]alk to your health care provider.”

“But not all of the social media posts included such a link.

“And even for those posts that did include a link, the posts themselves offer advice, not mere information.”

The judge stated that the update itself is problematic because of its title, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”

Even though it later says that people can take ivermectin if prescribed by a health care provider, “the trailing qualifier does not lessen the opening instruction’s imperative character,” he said.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown ruled against the doctors in 2022.

Brown found that the doctors had not proven an exception to sovereign immunity and that there was no indication the FDA acted outside of the authority conferred by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Judge Brown erred on the second point as well, according to the new ruling.

“Nothing in the Act’s plain text authorizes FDA to issue medical advice or recommendations,” Judge Willett said.

The judge, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, was joined by U.S. Circuit Judges Edith Brown Clement and Jennifer Walker Elrod.

Judges Willett and Brown were appointed under Trump.

Judges Clement and Elrod were appointed under President George W. Bush.

The appeals court panel remanded the case back to Judge Brown to decide whether the doctors have standing.

The ruling followed oral arguments before the panel.

Dr. Robert Apter, one of the plaintiffs, called the ruling “a big win for doctors and for patients!”

The Biden administration has not yet reacted to the ruling.

READ MORE: Ivermectin Reduces Excess Deaths by 74%, New Study Shows

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