Jimmy Kimmel sparked controversy when he said that if doctors have to make tough decisions over who gets ICU beds, vaccinated people should be prioritised over “pan-dimwits” who’ve been taking horse dewormer ivermectin.
Podcast host Joe Rogan took ivermectin after testing positive for Covid-19, with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones following suit in an on-air rant.
In Kimmel’s opening monologue on his chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live, he highlighted how Covid-19 cases have increased 300% compared to Labour Day last year.
Kimmel said: “Dr. Fauci said if hospitals get any more over-crowded, 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.
“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.”
His comments were met with raucous applause.
Kimmel continued: “We’ve still got a lot of ‘pan-dimwits’ out there, people are still taking this ivermectin. The poison control centres have seen this spike in calls from people taking this livestock medicine to fight the coronavirus, but they won’t take the vaccine.
“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 which is the fourth largest pharmaceutical company in the world.”
In a statement released in February, Merck said there is “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect” against Covid-19.
Although ivermectin can be used to treat parasitic worms, head lice and rosacea in humans, the FDA has warned that it is not approved for treating Covid-19 and taking large doses of the drug is dangerous.
Kimmel’s comments divided Twitter, with some agreeing. Filmmaker Jeremy Newberger said: “Vaccinated people are done playing games.”
Others condemned the chat show host’s comments.
Country singer Travis Tritt said: “Anyone who says that the unvaccinated do not deserve healthcare is an evil and uncaring monster.” He followed up with: “Yes, I’m talking to you Jimmy Kimmel or any of the rest of you uncaring monsters!”