Jimmy Kimmel suggested this week that crowded hospitals should prioritize patients who have been vaccinated and who have not taken the deworming medicine ivermectin.
Kimmel, who has been on vacation from hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” since June, told his audience on Tuesday, “I leave you people alone for two months. You start taking horse worm medicine?”
He referenced that daily coronavirus infections were up more than 300% on Labor Day this year over what the U.S. was seeing on the holiday last year. Kimmel also noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN that some U.S. hospitals are getting so crowded with COVID-19 cases that they may “have to make some very tough choices.”
“Dr. Fauci said that if hospitals get any more overcrowded, they’re going to have to make some very tough choices about who gets an ICU bed. That choice doesn’t seem so tough to me,” Kimmel said. “Vaccinated person having a heart attack? Yes, come right on in. We’ll take care of you. Unvaccinated guy who gobbled horse goo? Rest in peace, wheezy.”
Kimmel also noted that poison control centers across the nation have seen an uptick in calls about ivermectin.
“One of the reasons these Seabiscuits are opting for ivermectin is because they don’t trust big pharma, which is fine I guess, except for the fact that ivermectin is made by Merck,” Kimmel said, nodding to the large pharmaceutical company.
While some laughed alongside Kimmel’s jokes, the host did receive criticism from others over his comments on hospitals’ treatment of those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who have taken ivermectin.
“I’ve been vaccinated, but I don’t wish death on those who make different choices,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Wednesday.
Health officials have warned against using ivermectin for unapproved use as a medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning last month against using the drug, tweeting, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
The FDA has explained that ivermectin has been approved “at very specific doses” for conditions in humans. However, the agency noted that some patients “required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.”
The warnings from health officials have not stopped some from seeking out the medicine. Popular podcast host and UFC commentator Joe Rogan previously said that he used the medicine to treat COVID-19 after testing positive for the virus.
Rogan also said that he took Vitamin C and monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies have been proven to work in some COVID-19 patients.
Health officials encourage all people who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.