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UP beat Covid, India hid secret cure: Joe Rogan, Robert Malone spin wild, we fact check

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadJan 03, 2022 | 18:54

UP beat Covid, India hid secret cure: Joe Rogan, Robert Malone spin wild, we fact check

This one podcast perhaps sums up the twisted and bizarre logic behind those making conspiracy theories.

Hear this:

American virologist Dr Robert Malone went on Joe Rogan's podcast and claimed that Uttar Pradesh ‘crushed’ the Covid-19 pandemic because of a secret cocktail of drugs.

Dr Malone here is referring to a few UP government-sponsored packages of medicine distributed for prophylactic measures against Covid-19, which also included Ivermectin. He claims that this composition of drugs was created in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said that there was in fact a ‘specific visit’ by US President Joe Biden to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this very subject. However, the Indian government, at the last minute, decided not to reveal the components of the ‘secret cocktail’ which helped UP beat Covid-19.

Joe Rogan expressed surprise and indignation over learning that the Indian government refused to share the secret behind beating Covid-19, as the rest of the world suffered.

Now, where do we start with fact-checking on this?

Let’s begin with the recent claims.

DID UTTAR PRADESH BEAT COVID-19?

That’s debatable. While other states in India, like Maharashtra and Kerala, often topped the charts of daily Covid cases during the worst of the first and second wave of Covid-19, Uttar Pradesh wasn’t exactly faring the best as Dr Malone makes it out to be.

There were many cases and deaths during the massive second wave in 2021.

So, no Dr Malone, UP did not ‘crush’ Covid-19, though we wish it had.

DID UP BEAT COVID BECAUSE OF A 'SECRET COCKTAIL' OF DRUGS INCLUDING IVERMECTIN?

In May 2021, the Indian Express reported that the Uttar Pradesh government claimed to have controlled Covid-19 during the first wave due to the prophylactic use of Ivermectin along with other drugs. However, studies have shown that there is no direct correlation between Ivermectin and Covid-19 recovery.

Merck, a manufacturer of the anti-parasitic drug, also clarified that no conclusive studies have been carried out to show the drug being effective against treating or preventing Covid-19.

Moreover, the WHO definitely has not endorsed Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19 and has only recommended its use within clinical trials.

And lastly, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) dropped the use of HCQ and Ivermectin from their Covid-19 treatment guidelines in September 2021, saying that there is no clarity on mortality benefit and length of hospital stay.

So, Dr Malone is wrong in his claims that Ivermectin or a combination of drugs prevented or treated Covid-19.

DID THE INDIAN GOVT 'HIDE' THIS 'SECRET COCKTAIL'?

We don’t really know in what alternate universe the US President Joe Biden paid a ‘specific visit’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dr Malone doesn’t know either about when this meeting was held or what went on in the meeting, because he wasn’t ‘invited’. Well, officially there is no record of such of a visit.

Biden and Modi only met in the White House in September 2021 during a bilateral meeting. As for Dr Malone’s claim that the Indian government hid the components of the cocktail, we are not sure if hiding means the details being plastered all over the media, social media, WhatsApp, and even the UP health department’s official website!

The components were in the public forum. It was even being circulated on WhatsApp with claims that UP beat Covid due to the measures. EVERYONE was talking about it.

Dr Malone, a simple Google search could have answered your question.

It seems Dr Malone wasn’t the first to float this theory either. While his podcast claim came in December 2021, a website called the Independent Side had made such claims. One look at the website will tell you that something or everything claimed here is bogus.

So no, the components of the ‘cocktail’ were NEVER a secret.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DR MALONE AND JOE ROGAN

The Atlantic described Robert Malone as the ‘Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation’. Dr Malone and the host of the podcast Joe Rogan have been called out in the US media for spreading vaccine misinformation and propagating anti-vax conspiracy theories.

Dr Malone describes himself as the ‘inventor of mRNA and DNA vaccines’ on LinkedIn. He is addressed as such on the American TV shows he graces as an expert. However, some have argued against this claim of his. So, we don’t really know whether he invented the mRNA and DNA vaccines and is now working to undermine his own work or not.

The Uttar Pradesh controversy wouldn’t be a first for Dr Malone or Rogan. Rogan is known for hosting controversial figures, whose claims are best described as dubious. Dr Malone has also claimed in the same Joe Rogan Experience show that Covid-19 is nothing but a ‘mass formation psychosis’ - wheww... that’s a hefty, science-y sounding phrase there - and not a deadly virus.

Twitter recently suspended Dr Malone’s Twitter account for spreading Covid-19 misinformation. However, the so-called doctor’s claims from the podcast are being shared online including on Twitter, spreading more misinformation.

Last updated: January 03, 2022 | 19:06
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