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Lawyer Forces Bogus Drug on Hospitals—and Drives Docs Crazy

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Until this past January, Ralph Lorigo had never heard of ivermectin. But after getting a call from a former client seeking the dubious pandemic treatment—hailed by many on the far right as a COVID-19 wonder drug—for his sick mother, everything changed for the seasoned attorney with a small commercial law practice in upstate New York.

Lorigo successfully argued for court-ordered treatment in that case, in which the man’s 80-year-old mother ultimately survived. Local news stories hailing the turn of events, and perhaps leading readers to conclude the drug made the difference, were written and shared widely.

Practically overnight, Lorigo told The Daily Beast, he became the most in-demand attorney for people across the country, attempting to force the hand of burdened hospitals and doctors to give dying loved ones ivermectin as a last-ditch effort. This despite ample warnings from all major health agencies in the country that the treatment has not been proven effective against COVID-19—and, in fact, could be dangerous.

Experts say trumpeting ivermectin risks discouraging people from getting vaccinated; instead they just take an unproven drug when they get very sick with COVID-19. But Lorigo has built a potentially lucrative brand as the go-to guy for desperate people willing to buck science in the pandemic’s fourth wave.

Not that he sees it that way. In fact, Lorigo argues—without evidence—that doctors, hospitals, and “Big Pharma” are the ones turning people away from ivermectin in chase of their own profits.

“While I certainly believe in the medical profession, what I’ve seen here is that the bottom line is what’s trumping what I used to believe was the Hippocratic oath,” Lorigo told The Daily Beast.

Ivermectin gained traction on the pandemic scene in late 2020, when doctors affiliated with a group called Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance began to tout its alleged success in treating COVID-19 infections, despite no substantial body of evidence. While most people advocating for the use of ivermectin point to the FDA-approved version that has been used for decades to treat parasites, the craze has notoriously led some Americans to seek versions of the drug meant for animals and sold in Tractor Supply stores.

This summer, agencies like the FDA began issuing sharp rebukes of ivermectin as a COVID treatment, and many doctors and experts have said the hype around the drug has sadly led too many to ignore proven methods of protection against COVID-19, like vaccines.

Just don’t tell Lorigo, who has gone all-in on the treatment.

According to the lawyer, he’s expanded his small practice by two attorneys and spends all day working on ivermectin cases lately, citing dozens of studies that have been largely disputed or discredited by the medical community. He says he works closely with groups driving the ivermectin craze, like the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, a spokesperson for which did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

All the while, he argues, bafflingly, that a rig led by “Big Pharma” is purposefully putting the stop on the “truth” about ivermectin from getting out, because it is a generic drug with little profit incentive.

Thanks to COVID rules, Lorigo generally appears in courtrooms virtually to argue against the advice of doctors and hospitals. News stories highlighting his victories only........

© The Daily Beast

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