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Years after claims shown to be wrong, anti-vaxxers still circulating conspiracy theory video

Tongan anti-vaxxers are still circulating a two-year-old video whose claims have long since been debunked.

The video, featuring Indian-born American entrepreneur Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, claims that Covid-19 can be treated with hydroxychloroquine and vitamins.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ayyadurai became known for a social media COVID-19 disinformation campaign; spreading conspiracy theories about the cause of COVID-19; promoting unfounded COVID-19 treatments; and campaigning to fire Anthony Fauci for allegedly being a so-called “deep state” actor.

Dr Ayyadurai is not a medical doctor and his claims about how Covid-19 can be treated have been shown to be wrong by senior medical specialists and researchers.

Here is what the Harvard Medical School says about vitamins:

“Clinical trials have explored the possibility that supplements may be effective. And, unfortunately, most of the evidence is unconvincing.

For example, a few observational studies link lower blood vitamin levels with a higher risk of testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, but studies like these cannot prove that vitamin D protects people against infection. A randomised controlled study of people with moderate to severe COVID-19 who received a high dose of vitamin D showed no benefit.

Similarly, a 2021 study of zinc and vitamin C demonstrated no benefit for people with mild COVID-19. In this study, people whose symptoms did not require hospital admission were randomly assigned to receive doses of Vitamin C and/or zinc.

The researchers found that people receiving the supplements, whether individually or combined, had no improvement in symptoms or a faster recovery when compared with otherwise similar patients receiving neither supplement.”

Here is what Pharmac in New Zealand said about hydroxychloroquine in 2020: It’s great for treating active rheumatoid arthritis,  systemic and discoid lupus erythematosus and malaria treatment and suppression. Pharmac cited the World Health Organisation as saying that hydroxychloroquine had not demonstrated an overall benefit in the treatment of COVID-19.

“Using hydroxychloroquine for prevention had little or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 may increase the risk of diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, drowsiness and headache.”

In other words, Dr Ayyadurai’s claims have long ago been debunked.

However, the video is still being shared by most Tongan anti-Covid 19 and conspiracy theorists. Some of them have tried to oppose Kaniva News’ articles about Covid disease, Covid vaccine and  the disease’s existence.

From the outset of the pandemic, Kaniva has attempted to educate our Tongan anti-Covid and conspiracy theorists about why their fears are groundless. Failure to do some background checks on the evidence and the more irresponsible claims means that they fail to understand that most of the claims made by people like Dr Ayyadurai are widely disputed and unfounded.

The claims about treatment are among the most rational claims made on the video. In the video Dr Ayyadurai claimed there was a giant global conspiracy to make everybody have a chip, destroy the American economy, and make everybody the slave of a network of powerful figures including the Chinese Communist Party, Bill Gates, the Clintons and the United Nations.

Ayyadurai was briefly linked to disgraced American President Donald Trump and tried to have Dr Anthony Fauci, who led the US government’s fight against Covid-19, fired for advocating social distancing, vaccinations and masking.

None of Dr Ayyadurai’s claims have come true since he made them two years ago, so it is a fair bet that he was wrong about everything else.

Get vaccinated

Kaniva News believes that the only way to stay safe from Covid-19, especially with the danger of a third wave of infections, is to get immunised. Make sure you keep your booster shots up to date and make sure your family are all vaccinated.

Everyone in New Zealand aged five years or over can get a free COVID-19 vaccination. It does not matter what your visa or citizenship status is. Children under five cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19. You can find out how to get vaccinated here:

For more information

Do vitamin D, zinc, and other supplements help prevent COVID-19 or hasten healing?

COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Hydroxychloroquine

New Zealand government Covid-19 information