Arkansas Doctor Sued for Allegedly Giving Inmates Ivermectin Told ‘Job Well Done’ by Local Leaders
The praise came before a reportedly controversial resolution was signed in favor of the doctor Monday night.
Local politicians in Arkansas are praising the doctor who is currently being sued by inmates after they say he gave them ivermectin without their knowledge or consent in treating Covid cases at a detention center, CBS News reported.
Dr. Robert Karas, the health care provider of Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas, has been treating Covid detainees with anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, allegedly without their knowledge or consent, according to CBS News.
He was then praised Monday by Washington County Justice of the Peace Patrick Deakins, who said he did a “job well done.”
On Monday, Deakins introduced a resolution to the local Quorum Court's jail and law enforcement committee to commend Karas for in his handling of coronavirus, CBS News reported.
"I don't know the science behind Covid and I'm not so sure anybody does," Deakins said. "I'm certainly not a doctor and I'm certainly not a virologist, and none of those on this panel are. I don't know the value of one treatment or the appropriateness of it. I don't know the efficacy of ivermectin and I don't know the most useful ways to treat any one individual, and those are not the debate of this resolution, I just want what's best for the health and safety of the county."
The resolution was announced Monday and states: "While over 850 cases of the infection has been recorded in the Washington County Detention Center, Dr. Robert Karas and Karas Correctional Health have effectively treated those cases which has resulted in zero fatalities from the virus.”
The resolution has no legal standing but ultimately serves as a kind of support from local officials for Dr. Karas, CBS News said.
The resolution was reportedly heavily debated before it was passed Monday night.
"If you talk to individuals at our local hospitals that are treating patients after Dr. Karas has treated them, they are very ill," Justice of the Peace Eva Madison said.
Madison has spoken out against Karas giving ivermectin to inmates.
"The reality is that he doesn't know,” Madison added. “He can't possibly know what the effects are of the treatment that he has given."
Those who support the doctor’s treatment say "nobody died," as a result of taking ivermectin, CBS News said.
In the lawsuit, filed last month by the ACLU and obtained by Inside Edition Digital, four men inside the detention center say they were given what they were told were “'vitamins,' 'antibiotics,' and/or 'steroids'” to treat COVID-19 last year but they claim they were really given the anti-parasite drug ivermectin without their consent.
Under Arkansas law, medical providers have a legal obligation to warn patients of potential hazards of future medical treatment, according to the lawsuit.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued several statements saying ivermectin is not safe to use to treat against COVID-19.
"Certain animal formulations of ivermectin such as pour-on, injectable, paste, and 'drench,' are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea," the FDA said.
But after testing positive for Covid in August 2021, the four men were given the drug, according to their lawsuit.
The lawsuit names the Washington County Detention Center, its staff, Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, Karas Correctional Health, its staff and Dr. Robert Karas as defendants.
Helder in August said that ivermectin had been prescribed to inmates to treat their coronavirus cases, ABC News reported. He said he only learned after the fact that ivermectin was used in the jail, but that he wouldn't second-guess or override the decisions of medical staff, The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
In a statement from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, a spokesperson said in an email to Inside Edition Digital on behalf of Helder last month that "The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is unable to comment on pending litigation."
Dr. Karas has not responded to Inside Edition Digital's multiple requests for comment.
Previously, Dr. Karas said no inmates were forced to take the drug, according to ABC News. Dr. Karas has said he began giving ivermectin at the detention center in November 2020, ABC News reported.
All officials named in the lawsuit and Dr. Karas deny every allegation of wrongdoing brought by the plaintiffs and “respectfully demand” a jury trial, according to Fox 24.
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