Georgia police captain who recommended animal parasite medication as vaccine substitute dies of COVID-19

Both the CDC and FDA have issued multiple warnings against using the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 in humans

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Less than two weeks after promoting the anti-parasitic horse medication ivermectin as an effective COVID-19 treatment on social media, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Captain Joe Manning died at age 57 on Wednesday, WCSO confirmed via Facebook.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of one of the leaders of our department,” WSCO officials wrote. “We will miss you Captain Manning, but you will forever be in our hearts. We will be praying for comfort for your family, Blood and Blue. May you Rest In Peace.”

On Thursday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a health advisory reiterating its previous warnings against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19 amid a rapid increase in prescriptions for the drug since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ivermectin is approved for use in people and animals for the treatment of parasitic worms, head lice and some skin conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued numerous warnings about using the drug for the treatment of COVID-19 in humans.

Per the CDC, “a recent study examining trends in ivermectin dispensing from outpatient retail pharmacies in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic showed an increase from an average of 3,600 prescriptions per week at the pre-pandemic baseline (March 16, 2019–March 13, 2020) to a peak of 39,000 prescriptions in the week ending on January 8, 2021.”

The study also found that ivermectin dispension has seen a sharp uptick since July, reportedly reaching “more than 88,000 prescriptions in the week ending August 13, 2021, 24 times the pre-pandemic baseline.

A supporter of Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro holds a large box of Ivermectin, used by many people in the nation to treat COVID-19, during a May protest in Brasilia organized to show support of his government’s pandemic response. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Manning’s ivermectin promotion is among the topics of several Facebook posts he has made disputing traditional COVID-19 vaccines, including claiming vaccines rob people of “sovereignty over our own bodies.” Manning’s string of posts also included racist sentiments about Chinese people.

WCSO Sheriff Chuck Moseley told WTOC the late officer lost a brief battle with COVID-19 after 31 years of police service, which including serving as administrator for the Wayne County Jail.

“Sheriff R.E. “Chuck” Moseley is saddened to announce the passing of Captain Joseph W. Manning,” Moseley said in a statement. “Captain Manning faithfully served the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for 31 years. Captain Manning began his career as a detention officer in the jail in 1990. Captain Manning was promoted to Deputy Sheriff in 1991, Sergeant in 2001, Lieutenant in 2016 and Captain in 2017.”

“Captain Manning is survived by his wife, Tammi, their three children, Timothy, R.B. and Rusti, and eight grandchildren,” he continued. “Captain Manning was an integral part of our family and our hearts are broken. Our love and prayers go forward to his family.”

theGrio’s Biba Adams contributed to this report.

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