Pro-Trump cartoonist Ben Garrison says he has COVID-19 and is treating it with ivermectin and beet juice

This picture shows the tablets of Ivermectin drugs in Tehatta, West Benga, India on May 19, 2021.
Ivermectin tablets in India. Photo by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • The pro-Trump cartoonist Ben Garrison says he's treating his COVID-19 with ivermectin and beets.

  • Neither are proven COVID-19 treatments. Garrison said he'd "never" go to hospital to treat it.

  • Communicating with Gizmodo, he repeated many false claims about the virus and vaccines.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The right-wing cartoonist Ben Garrison says he has a "rough" case of COVID-19 and is treating it with ivermectin and beet juice, according to Gizmodo.

Garrison, known for his cartoons strongly supportive of Donald Trump, told the outlet in an email Sunday that he and his wife had been sick for about two weeks with the coronavirus, which they believe they picked up in a restaurant.

Garrison wrote to the outlet that he and his wife, both in their 60s, were drinking beet juice as well as "taking Ivermectin and various vitamins including a lot of Zinc."

Beets have many health benefits, as Insider's Ashley Laderer reported, but they have not been proved to treat or prevent COVID-19.

As for vitamin supplements including zinc, Harvard Health Blog wrote in April that "most of the evidence is unconvincing" that they could effectively treat the virus.

Ivermectin is an inexpensive, widely available drug that has been falsely touted by fringe medics as a miracle cure for COVID-19, as Insider's Hilary Brueck reported.

It has Food and Drug Administration approval to treat some conditions but not COVID-19; the agency says the available data has not supported its use as such, though trials are ongoing.

Nonetheless, it is increasingly being touted by vaccine opponents as an alternative to COVID-19 vaccines, a position Garrison seems to endorse.

He told Gizmodo he and his wife would "never" get vaccinated or go to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment, while repeating numerous false claims about both things.

Garrison's cartoons usually lampoon Democratic and left-wing figures but have also had a lot to say about the coronavirus - including endorsing unproven treatments like ivermectin.

One cartoon, tweeted from an account called @CartoonsBen and purporting to be controlled by Garrison and his wife, illustrates the sentiment.

In the cartoon, a horse labeled "ivermectin" is seen kicking a figure labeled "Dr. Fauci," who is holding a drooping syringe labeled "medical industrial complex."

"Get some horse sense!" the horse is saying - a reference to the fact that ivermectin in the US is most commonly used as a veterinarian treatment.

In a lengthy blog post accompanying the cartoon on Garrison's website, he said: "My vet confirmed that anything your horse can take is safe for humans." This, as Insider's Canela López reported, is misleading advice.

In response to a detailed request for comment from Insider, Garrison said: "Write your propaganda - the people know the truth." He did not clarify whether the @CartoonsBen account was his.

Marianne Guenot contributed reporting to this article.

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