Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (R-Ky.) suggested researchers are not pursuing ivermectin as a possible COVID-19 treatment because of their disdain for former President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE.

"The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they're unwilling to objectively study it," Paul told dozens of constituents at a meeting in a suburb just south of Cincinnati on Friday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported

"So someone like me that's in the middle on it, I can't tell you because they will not study ivermectin," the senator added. "They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump."

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Americans last week not to take ivermectin, a drug sometimes used to treat parasitic worm infections in humans and livestock.

"You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it," the FDA said in a widely shared tweet.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded after a series of trials that hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by Trump during his presidency, "had little or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19."

A reporter at the event in Ohio pressed Paul about those warnings from the CDC and FDA. 

"I don't know if it works, but I keep an open mind," Paul responded.

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Paul, who contracted COVID-19 last year, has voiced opposition to mask mandates and questioned CDC data on the pandemic. He has clashed multiple times during congressional hearings with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump on what would prevent 2024 bid: 'I guess a bad call from a doctor' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert. 

During Friday's event, the Republican encouraged people to get vaccinated against the virus but voiced opposition to mandates. 

"I think I'm in the middle ground of the vaccines," Paul said. "CNN invites me on all the time. They have announcers calling me an 'ass' on TV. Then they have doctors saying I'm thoroughly anti-vaccine. You heard me, I'm not against the vaccine. I've already recommended if you're at risk to take it. ... It's still your choice if it's a free country."