Inmates Sue After Being Given Ivermectin to Treat COVID, Say Jail Used Them as ‘Experiment’
Four inmates have filed a lawsuit against an Arkansas jail after they were allegedly given ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without their consent.
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Four inmates have filed a lawsuit against Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas after they were allegedly given ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without their consent, CBS News reports.
Per CBS News, the four men were given the anti-parasite drug in pill form numerous times. The drug is available in multiple forms, and is typically only used on humans to treat parasites, not novel coronaviruses like COVID-19. Health experts have warned, on numerous occasions, that the drug should not be used to treat COVID-19.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit against the jail on behalf of the inmates, who said they were given the drug as early as November 2020 but were aware of what it was until at least July 2021. According to the allegations made in their lawsuit, medical staff at the jail told them they were being given “vitamins,” “antibiotics,” or “steroids.”
“It was not consensual. They used us as an experiment — like we’re livestock,” inmate Edrick Floreal-Wooten told CBS. “Just because we wear stripes and we make a few mistakes in life, doesn’t make us less of a human. We got families, we got loved ones out there that love us.”
“The truth, however, was that without knowing and voluntary consent, Plaintiffs ingested incredibly high doses of a drug that credible medical professionals, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all agree is not an effective treatment against COVID-19,” the lawsuit reads. The four men are asking to receive an independent medical evaluation, with all costs, fees, and “any other appropriate relief to which they are entitled.”
The lawsuit also said that when they tested positive for COVID-19 in August 2021, they were sent to quarantine in “specifically designated” barracks where they were given a “cocktail” of somewhere between two to 10 pills twice a day. Sheriff Tim Helder said the jail’s doctor, Dr. Robert Karas, was the person responsible for prescribing ivermectin.
Arkansas ACLU legal director Gary Sullivan said that no individual should “be deceived and subject to medical experimentation.” His statement, shared last week, continued, “Sheriff [Tim] Helder has a responsibility to provide food, shelter, and safe, appropriate care to incarcerated individuals. ...The detention center failed to use safe and appropriate treatments for COVID-19, even in the midst of a pandemic, and they must be held accountable.”