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North Dakota rep Jeff Hoverson fails to show at his anti-vaccine mandate rally after catching COVID

 North Dakota   lawmaker Jeff Hoverson organized an anti-vaccine mandate rally this week, but failed to show up after becoming infected with...

 North Dakota lawmaker Jeff Hoverson organized an anti-vaccine mandate rally this week, but failed to show up after becoming infected with coronavirus.

Republican Rep. Hoverson posted on Facebook Sunday that he was 'quarantining and each day is getting better.'

However, the Minot lawmaker said he is taking the deworming drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and has not checked into a hospital. 

Ivermectin is not an approved Covid-19 treatment, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing warnings over the potential risks in using it as such.

'Covid is real and like a really bad flu,' Hoverson wrote.

Hoverson, a pastor, told The Associated Press that was diagnosed last week. 

'I'm feeling rough,' he said on Monday. 'But this ivermectin is keeping me out of the hospital.'

Ivermectin is designed to fight parasitic infections but conservative commentators have promoted it as a treatment for COVID-19, despite a lack of conclusive evidence that it helps. 'It's making me better,' Hoverson said.

The North Dakota Legislature returned to Bismarck Monday for a special five-day session during which a bill to prevent vaccine mandates will almost certainly gain approval. 

House Majority Leader Chet Pollert said Hoverson could participate remotely.


North Dakota's Republican leadership and GOP Gov. Doug Burgum have said they oppose such mandates and the state has joined a federal lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine rules.

Although Hoverson will not attend the rally at North Dakota's statehouse, he said three of his teenage children will be there. It is unclear whether they attended.

Hoverson is among the most far-right legislators in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

He introduced legislation last session to repeal mask mandates and he sponsored failed legislation that would have made it a felony to help women access abortions.

Last month, he was barred from boarding a flight at Minot International Airport after a run-in with a security agent. 

Writing on Facebook (pictured), Hoverson said: 'Thank you, brave soul, for getting me Ivermectin, which now with covid, I am able to stay out of the hospital'. Ivermectin is not approved by either the FDA or the CDC to treat Covid-19

Writing on Facebook (pictured), Hoverson said: 'Thank you, brave soul, for getting me Ivermectin, which now with covid, I am able to stay out of the hospital'. Ivermectin is not approved by either the FDA or the CDC to treat Covid-19

Pictured: People attend a 'We the People' rally held on the grounds of the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. North Dakota lawmaker Jeff Hoverson organised the rally, but couldn't attend after falling to Covid-19

Pictured: People attend a 'We the People' rally held on the grounds of the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. North Dakota lawmaker Jeff Hoverson organised the rally, but couldn't attend after falling to Covid-19

And as a freshman legislator two years ago, Hoverson protested a prayer by a Hindu cleric, saying he didn't 'want to be compelled to pray for a false god.'

Hoverson is the latest public figure to have tested positive for the virus after railing against mask or vaccine mandates. 

At least four conservative radio talk-show hosts who shared anti-vaccine and anti-mask sentiments died of the virus in August.

These included 65-year-old Marc Bernier who was self-described as 'Mr. Anti-Vax'.

Others were Phil Valentine, 61, who was a popular radio host in Tennessee, Jimmy DeYoung, 81, a Christian preacher also based in Tennessee and Dick Farrel, 65, who had worked for a number of radio stations in Miami and Palm Beach, Florida.

In September, popular podcast host Joe Rogan, who has also downplayed the need for coronavirus vaccines and touted ivermectin as a treatment, also announced he had tested positive for Covid-19. 

Writing on Facebook, Hoverson said: 'Thank you, brave soul, for getting me Ivermectin, which now with covid, I am able to stay out of the hospital.' He did not identify who gave him the drug. 

In recent month, the FDA and other public health agencies have roundly urged people to avoid taking the unproven treatment after being touted by the liked of Rogan, whose Spotify podcast has millions of listeners. 

Authorities have warned taking the drug could be 'dangerous' and potentially fatal, with neither the FDA or the CDC approving the drug as a Covid treatment. 

Last month, CNN refused to apologize to podcaster Joe Rogan for their claims that he took 'horse dewormer' ivermectin for his COVID-19 infection, even after the network's own doctor Sanjay Gupta groveled over the incident on Rogan's podcast. 

Ivermectin prescribed to people
Ivermectin for livestock

Rogan's key complaint against CNN is that they did not explain that there were two types of ivermectin: one that's meant for people that Rogan took, left, and one for livestock 

In a statement to the Washington Post, the media network wrote, 'The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.'

CNN had gone after Rogan for promoting the anti-parasitic medication, along with other treatments prescribed by doctors, to fight the COVID infection he caught in September.

Rogan had fired back at the news outlet for not specifying that he took the version of ivermectin prescribed for human use rather, than the version used for livestock. 

Studies have shown that Ivermectin decreases viral loads and may prevent COVID deaths, but the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control recommend against using it for COVID, saying further studies are needed. 

The FDA went so far as to send out a tweet telling people: 'You are not a horse, you are not a cow. Seriously, y'all, stop it'. 

That came amid reports of livestock stores being cleared of the drug, and warnings that the dosages given to animals were far too high for humans to take safely.  

Gupta seemed to compare his CNN colleagues' assertions to the above tweet by the FDA

Gupta seemed to compare his CNN colleagues' assertions to the above tweet by the FDA

Rogan's promotion of the medicine came at a time when Americans were promoting the drug during the deadly Delta spike at the end of August and early September. 

Calls for ivermectin poisoning saw a 163 per cent increase to a total of 1,143 throughout the US this year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers

At the end of August, there were a total of 459 calls regarding ivermectin to poison control centers. 

CNN's medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner has said that what Rogan had done was dangerous. 

'He's promoting, kind of a crazy jumble of, you know, sort of folk remedies and internet-prescribed drugs,' Reiner said . 'He should have more sense.' 

'I GOT COVID:' Joe Rogan reveals he tested positive for COVID
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Rogan has made controversial comments criticizing vaccines and coronavirus lockdown measures

Rogan has made controversial comments criticizing vaccines and coronavirus lockdown measures

Rogan has previously railed against vaccines and vaccine mandates, saying that young and healthy people don't need to be jabbed. On Wednesday, he also revealed that he was nearly vaccinated in Las Vegas a few months ago but missed his appointment, according to Newsweek.

Ivermectin was discovered from soil samples collected in Japan by microbiologist Satoshi Ōmura in 1970, according to the journal Trends in Parasitology.

Ōmura won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 along with American biologist William C. Campbell, of the pharmaceutical company Merck.

The Nobel committee wrote: 'Its impact on improving the overall health and welfare of hundreds of millions of men, women and children, mostly in poor and impoverished communities, remains unmatched.

'It continues to defy many preconceived concepts, with no drug resistance developing in humans despite years of extensive monotherapy. Tis has led to it being included on the World Health Organization's 'List of Essential Medicines,' a compilation of the most important medications needed in any basic health system.'

An August 21 article in the American Journal of Therapeutics concluded that 'using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.'

The CDC says more 'adequately sized, well-designed, and well-conducted clinical trials are needed' before recommending Ivermectin for coronavirus. 

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