Raleigh, N.C. — A local health expert is pushing back against claims made at a medical freedom summit in Raleigh on Saturday.
During the event, 12 panelists from various backgrounds across medical, scientific and legal professions took aim at the coronavirus response in North Carolina.
Speakers made unverified claims including the provided COVID-19 vaccine is causing injuries.
“The FDA panel admitted they have no idea of the side effects,” one of the speakers told the crowd.
The speakers also touted use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as safe and effective treatments for the virus.
But, Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease specialist at UNC Health, said the research doesn’t support those drugs as being a better option than the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It comes to, sShow me the data and show me the really big data. I can show you the really big data on where it Remdesivir — where it works and where it doesn’t,” Wohl said. “That’s all we as providers want. We don’t want wishful thinking.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has also previously warned medical professionals and the public about using ivermectin to treat coronavirus. In August, the CDC said there was an increase in reports of severe illness reported to drug centers after using ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites such as worms and lice in humans and by veterinarians to de-worm large animals.
Overdosing on ivermectin can cause stomach problems, nerve damage, seizures, disorientation, coma and death, according to the CDC.
Hydroxychloroquine was also researched as a possible treatment for the virus, but the World Health Organization halted studying the drug due to safety concerns.
Parts of the medical freedom summit in Raleigh focused on people suffering injuries after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Half of humanity, right now, have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine … with that kind of number, if there was a side effect leading people to get sick [and] to get hospitalized, we would know it. It would not be a secret,” countered Wohl.
WRAL Investigates searched through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s database of reported adverse reactions in April and found issues from blood clotting to heart and respiratory issues.
Out of the 216 million doses of the vaccine that had been administered from December to April, 68,000 adverse reactions were reported to the FDA.
Wohl said that he respects people’s rights, but he also wanted to stress the importance of getting the vaccine.
He added that if you want to be conscious about your health, and protect others, get the shot.