Sun | Jul 25, 2021

No to Ivermectin

Published:Friday | June 18, 2021 | 1:03 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Having watched Tuesday’s proceedings in the nation’s Parliament, I am at a loss as to why Mark Golding and Dr Morais Guy are so hell-bent on getting Ivermectin into Jamaica when absolutely none of the pre-eminent agencies that deal with health across the world has recommended it to fight COVID-19.

The basis put forward by the Opposition is not only half-baked, but deeply dangerous, now and in the future when faced with another pandemic. Those reasons boil down to how cheap the drug is and that we should take a risk! That’s utterly bewildering. Let’s understand this: the People’s National Party (PNP) under Golding is willing to play Russian roulette with the lives of Jamaican’s to prove a point! They are willing to subject Jamaicans as guinea pigs to test out a treatment for COVID-19. It’s appalling! It’s unbelievable.

Let’s understand something. In any pandemic, no government outside of a clinical trial should subject any part of its population to unproven drugs. None. The government has a responsibility of care, to act in such a way as to preserve life. You don’t preserve life by allowing your population to try out things to see if they work. You have to be guided by the science that says this is the evidence available to fix this problem. At no time also should the cheapness of a drug be in consideration as to whether it should be allowed to be used or not. What should be, and must be, of importance is how effective that drug is.

And to add insult to severe injury, the very manufacturer of the drug stated quite clearly that the drug should not be used to treat COVID-19 because it has not been scientifically proven. You do not get any clearer than that.

It draws into focus, however, one very important thing: Leadership matters. Picking the right people at election time matters. Based on the utterances of this PNP leadership, one must be eternally thankful the Jamaican people disposed of them comprehensively at the last general election. Because if they were in power now, I shudder to think what they would have done.

FABIAN LEWIS