COVID-19 is caused by a virus. Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are not effective treatments for neither COVID-19 nor snake venom.
A new COVID-19 conspiracy theory has emerged on social media, inspiring new misinformation narratives. In a recent hour-long ‘documentary’ interview titled ‘Watch the Water’, renowned anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and former chiropractor Dr Bryan Ardis makes several claims in which he suggests that COVID-19 is not a virus, but is instead a disease created from snake venom, being spread through the world’s drinking water supplies. As a result of these claims, a number of posts have begun to circulate on social media which list a number of purported ‘treatments’ for snake venom, including ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, nicotine, etc. This appears to be because according to Ardis, not only is COVID-19 derived from snake venom, but the vaccines are too, as well as the drug Remdesivir which is used to treat severe cases of COVID-19. However, we know for certain that COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and is not caused by snake venom. Furthermore, there is no evidence that any of these treatments function effectively neither as anti-venom nor as a treatment against COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malaria drug, and ivermectin is used to treat parasites. Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the suitability of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in treating COVID-19, and results have repeatedly shown that they are not effective. Regardless, Ardis claims that the reason that the drug hydroxychloroquine was not recommended for use in treating COVID-19 was that it interfered with the activity of Remdesivir. Ardis is known for having previously claimed that the deaths of COVID-19 patients are instead due to Remdesivir being used to treat the disease, and that health authorities “made COVID-19 look more deadly than it really was” by approving the drug so that “they could murder people, and convince you people were dying of covid” In ‘Watch the Water’, Ardis’ argument rests partly on the fact that many anti-venom treatments administered in hospitals contain ‘monoclonal antibodies’ (a monoclonal antibody is an antibody made by cloning a unique white blood cell.) Ardis mistakenly takes this fact to mean that all monoclonal antibodies are effective anti-venoms, and somehow infers that because we know that some monoclonal antibody treatments are effective in treating COVID-19 infections, the disease must be caused by some type of venom. It is important not to allow misinformation to circulate unquestioned. Medical misinformation has the potential to seriously harm people in need of treatment. We have therefore marked the claim as false.