/ Modified apr 22, 2024 9:16 p.m.

4 years later, COVID-19 conspiracy still thrives in the Arizona Senate

A far-right, unofficial committee presented anti-vaccine testimony and defended dubious treatments.

UA vaccine pod Sign advertising COVID-19 state vaccination pod at the University of Arizona.
AZPM staff

Nearly four years to the day that COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, a group of far-right Republican legislators held a four-hour, unofficial committee meeting that elevated conspiracy theories and dubious treatments of the virus that has killed at least 3 million people worldwide.

The Arizona Senate’s Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee convened Friday and featured testimony from multiple doctors affiliated with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a conservative non-profit widely known for its medical misinformation.

One of those doctors was Texas cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, who defended his use of ivermectin and said the FDA overstepped in its public campaign that advised against treating Covid-19 with an anti-parasite drug meant for livestock.

“It's safer than Tylenol, through a large range of doses. Every single American admitted to the hospital should have been administered ivermectin because it gave a chance at survival and there was nothing to suggest that it was unsafe,” he said.

Ivermectin is not FDA approved to treat the virus.

McCullough also blamed the medical system, not the virus itself, on the millions of deaths caused by COVID-19.

“Virtually all the deaths occurred in the hospital. So the question on the table is what occurred at the hospital that failed to save lives?”

McCullough has consistently contradicted public health recommendations in conservative circles since 2020.

The committee is made up of Republican Covid skeptics who have consistently supported unsubstantiated claims of COVID’s origins and its treatments

However, the committee is unofficial, meaning they can’t propose legislation or make formal recommendations.

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