After Anti-Vax Summit, 7 Docs Fall Sick

One claimed he'd been taking ivermectin and 'never felt healthier'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2021 11:09 AM CST
7 Doctors Fall Ill After Anti-Vaccine Summit
A doctor holds a protest sign in this stock photo.   (Getty Images/FabrikaCr)

At an anti-vaccine summit in Florida, where alternative treatments for COVID-19 were discussed, a 71-year-old cardiologist stood up and criticized his 97-year-old father for getting vaccinated. "He had been brainwashed" and "didn't tell me," Dr. Bruce Boros told attendees on Nov. 6, per the Guardian. "I wanted to give him a spanking." Boros added that he and his wife had been taking ivermectin for 16 months and "I have never felt healthier in my life." According to the Daily Beast, Boros is now seriously ill as one of seven doctors who have tested positive for COVID-19 or developed symptoms since attending the one-day event in Ocala, where masks and social distancing were not required.

"People are considering if it was a superspreader event," head organizer Dr. John Littell tells the Beast, though he denies that it was, suggesting some of the 800 to 900 attendees were infected when they arrived. He adds that Boros, who developed symptoms within two days, is "doing well" and "everybody so far has responded to treatment with ivermectin." The antiparasitic used to combat parasitic worms is not authorized or proven to prevent or treat COVID-19 and is dangerous if taken in large quantities. Indeed, there have been "multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock," according to the FDA. Some have died.

Boros told Florida Keys Weekly in July that he'd given ivermectin to a seriously ill COVID-19 patient and "within six hours he was talking without coughing." He attended the summit at Ocala's World Equestrian Center hours after his father, World War II vet Carl Arfa, succumbed to COVID-19, and told the crowd he felt guilty for taking his father off ivermectin once he was vaccinated. Vaccines are proven effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, however. According to CDC data released Monday, an unvaccinated person is six times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 and 14 times more likely to die than a vaccinated person. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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