Key supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory are leading a coordinated campaign against a Northwest Side hospital that has refused to prescribe an unapproved drug to treat one of the supporters of the group against COVID-19.
QAnon supporters have targeted the Amita Resurrection Medical Center in the past few days with a small personal protest and a spate of phone calls, the hospital confirmed on Tuesday.
Supporters are demanding that doctors administer ivermectin to a hospitalized ally, a drug approved for the treatment of parasites in humans and animals that has generated great interest in recent weeks and is increasingly touted as a breakthrough coronavirus treatment by anti-vaccination campaigns.
But ivermectin hasn’t been approved to treat the coronavirus, and a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that doctors of the Resurrection are not using it for this.
A flyer for a Monday protest at the resurrection said the patient had been hospitalized there for two weeks with “Covid pneumonia”. The flyer, circulated on the Telegram messaging app, claimed that a doctor who initially agreed to give her ivermectin later turned it down because the hospital was on the side of public health experts who were “involved in COVID- 19 cases do not advise use ”.
L. Lin Wood, an attorney who helped file lawsuits to support former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud, is among the QAnon believers who have contacted Resurrection staff about her case. He stated in a telegram post on Monday that he called the hospital and insisted to an employee that the woman “had a legal right to try ivermectin.”
“He told me that ivermectin is not on the Amita protocol and [the woman] wouldn’t get it, “said Wood of the exchange with a representative. “When I tried to answer, he was rude, spoke about me and hung up.”
QAnon darling Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who was pardoned by Trump after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, also went to Telegram Monday to pray and to call the woman a “friend and patriot”.
The patient did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Wood or Flynn.
Banned from Twitter, both Wood and Flynn have reached out to Telegram. Wood’s account on the platform has nearly 815,000 subscribers, while Flynn’s page has over 285,000.
Your involvement in the recent print campaign appears to have helped fuel calls for action aimed at the resurrection. On Monday, according to Telegram reports, a small group of people demonstrated in front of the hospital.
Olga Solares, a spokeswoman for Amita Health, confirmed she was aware of the coordinated effort, although a brief statement from the hospital did not address it directly.
“At AMITA Health, the health and safety of our patients has top priority. Our doctors and clinicians follow the full instructions of the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control] in treating COVID-19, ”Solares said.
The campaign aimed at Resurrection, 7435 W. Talcott Ave., was first reported by Vice.
In some online circles, people using ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment have been given meme status as it has been reported that some ingested a paste formulated for horses.
But in conspiratorial corners of the internet, the drug is dubiously viewed as a miracle cure, suppressed by powerful forces. This narrative is apparently attractive to QAnon supporters who believe Trump is fighting a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. QAnon has also embraced the anti-vaccine movement.
Although the FDA recognizes that clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate ivermectin’s ability to treat and prevent COVID, has not yet proven effective or approved to treat the virus. In the past few months, poison control centers across the country have reported that a massive increase in the number of ivermectin-related cases.
This week, the leading US medical and pharmacist professions called for an “immediate end” to drug use outside of research.
On Tuesday, QAnon supporters targeting Resurrection appeared to be running out of ideas after a few days of indignation.
While some Telegram users called for further demonstrations, there were no obvious demonstrators in front of the hospital on Tuesday morning. At the time, members of the online community were complaining that calls to the resurrection resulted in a dead-end voice message.
“Even Lin Wood can’t do anything and they hang up and it’s amazing to see that,” wrote one user.