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Some of the most powerful QAnon influencers are urging their hundreds of thousands of followers to harass a Chicago hospital into treating an anti-vaccine activist with ivermectin.
Veronica Wolski, who’s known for boosting anti-vaccine and QAnon conspiracies from a bridge in Chicago, was hospitalized two weeks ago after contracting COVID-19. She is a patient at Amita Resurrection Hospital in Chicago, according to posts on her Telegram channel.
Wolski’s supporters claim that after two weeks she had convinced a doctor in the hospital to administer ivermectin, but she was then told that the hospital system would not allow any doctor to prescribe the drug to treat COVID-19 because regulatory agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not approved it.
This did not sit well with Wolski and her followers, so Wolski’s friends launched a campaign to force the hospital authorities to relent.
The campaign, organized via her Telegram channel, which is now being run by her friends, said that Wolski “is being held as a medical hostage” and that her “advocatives” have been barred from the premises.
Wolski’s friends urged supporters to turn up on Tuesday night to protest in person. The campaign even suggested possible slogans to put on posters, including “Ivermectin Now,” “Feed Veronica” and “CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.”
Disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who’s a central figures in the QAnon movement and has 285,000 followers on the messaging app, has boosted the campaign. Flynn had previously met Wolski, whom he called “a friend and patriot.”
But another QAnon influencer took things a step further.
Lin Wood, the pro-Trump lawyer who is one of the most prominent proponents of QAnon and who has a Telegram channel with 815,000 subscribers, urged his followers to follow his lead and harass the staff by calling the hospital directly.
“I called Amita Resurrection Hospital and spoke with a male care provider in ICU. I gave him Veronica’s name and stated that she had a legal right to try Ivermectin. He informed me that Ivermectin was not on the Amita protocol and Veronica would not receive it. When I tried to respond, he was rude, talked over me, and hung up on me,” Wood wrote on Telegram Tuesday evening.
Wood then urged his followers to “let your voices be heard,” calling the situation “medical tyranny. This is genocide. We cannot tolerate crimes against humanity.”
Wood then shared another post which provided the number for the hospital and told people to tell the hospital staff “what you think of communists who violate Nuremberg and tell them what’s coming for them.”
Numerous people in Wood’s channel, and in Wolski’s, reported that they had called the hospital, many of them complaining that the minute they mentioned the anti-vaxxer’s name, the staff at the hospital hung up on them.
“I called them. When I got a voice on the line I just said Veronica needs Ivermectin. Was immediately hung up on,” one Telegram user wrote. “Nuremberg trials will be needed soon for more crimes against humanity.”
Another woman in Wolski’s channel wrote: “I spoke to [the] receptionist and said I’m calling about Veronica Wol… (didn’t even get last name out) and she hung up on me.”
But some people did get through. “After speaking to the receptionist of that hospital and she was a wonderful woman that believes the same as we do, people are calling up and calling her all sorts of names,” a man called Des wrote.
A Telegram user called Pannada reported that a nurse she spoke to at the hospital said: “People are just calling all day and threatening them.”
The hospital did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment about the situation.
Ivermectin is typically used as a dewormer in livestock animals, but it can also be prescribed in smaller doses to humans. There is no evidence to show that it effectively treats COVID-19, but conspiracy theorists and the anti-vaxx community glommed onto the drug after the publication of a study that seemed to support its effectiveness against COVID-19.
That study was subsequently pulled due to “serious problems with their raw data” as well as plagiarism.
The CDC recently issued a warning about the increased use by COVID-19 patients of veterinary formulations of ivermectin, as well as increased reports of resulting illnesses.
The agency cited a case of a man who suffered hallucinations, confusion, and tremors after he drank an injectable form of ivermectin intended for cattle. He was hospitalized for nine days.