Move over horse dewormer, anti-vaxxers are now gargling Betadine

During the pandemic we’ve seen people behave in ways that defy logic and put themselves and so many others at risk. In this darkest of timelines the antivaxxers have been taking deworming medication, based on disinformation from a fraudulent study. Now those same people are gargling Betadine, the topical antiseptic, because someone claiming to be a doctor said on a forum that this would prevent covid. Betadine/iodine is poisonous and has similar side effects to deworming medication so maybe that’s why they think it’s working. Like the makers of ivermectin, the manufacturers of Betadine have issued a statement that its useless against covid and should not be ingested because it’s toxic. It is an effective wound treatment and you can gargle a specific percentage to treat sore throats so maybe that’s why they’re confused. I’m going to quote Rolling Stone here because they have the best response to this. I’m also including part of a story with the response from Betadine’s manufacturer:

As if attempting to one-up last week’s stupidity with regards to ivermectin, anti-vaxxers on Facebook and Twitter are advocating for a new and unproven Covid-19 treatment: Betadine, an antiseptic used to treat cuts and scrapes.

Povidone iodine, often sold under the brand-name Betadine, is an iodine-based treatment largely for topical use that kills bacteria. It’s a “commonly used cleanser in the ER and OR,” says Kenneth Weinberg, an emergency room physician in New York City. “If you’re in the ER and someone has a wound to sew it up, you use it to clean with.” When told that anti-vaxxers had taken to gargling with Betadine, Weinberg said, “F-k me! Of course they are.”

Solutions that include povidone iodine have also previously been marketed as a vaginal douche to treat itching in some countries. “We use it before surgery to clean the vagina,” says OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter. “The reason it is bad in douches is that it kills the good bacteria and can be an irritant.”


Avrio Health, Betadine’s manufacturer, released guidelines for Betadine use, saying its products “have not been approved to treat coronavirus” and “should only be used to help prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns.”

“Betadine Antiseptic products have not been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 or any other viruses,” Avrio Health said.

Avrio says its warnings apply to both its topical and throat-gargle products. The company says those who ingest more than a small amount should call a Poison Control Center immediately. Infectious disease specialist Judy Stone says symptoms of Betadine or povidone iodine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, acidosis and even death.

[From Rolling Stone and CBS4Indy]

You can’t make this sh-t up! This is so utterly ridiculous it would be rejected as a film plot, although Idiocracy got a lot of things right. I just feel sorry for the medical workers, co-workers and family who have to deal with and ultimately care for these people. Maybe this is just Darwinism writ large though, as f’ing dark as that sounds. That’s how I console myself whenever I try to make sense of what’s happening lately. There’s an incredibly effective free preventative based on decades of science and tested on millions of people. You can take that, not have to worry about dying, and at worst have flu-like symptoms for a few days. Or can make yourself constantly miserable with DIY over the counter treatments with no proven efficacy whose manufacturers say are dangerous and useless against covid. People trying these treatments have been clogging up hospitals from the side effects and from contracting covid. The fact that this is even a debate just blows my mind.


Photo note: Whitney Port is a spokesperson for Betadine, a proven wound treatment. She advocates for vaccinations, unlike her former costar Kristin Cavallari, and she seems like a decent person. She is not associated with this story other than as a spokesperson for Betadine.

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44 Responses to “Move over horse dewormer, anti-vaxxers are now gargling Betadine”

  1. Leigh says:

    Oh my goodness, Whitney’s kid’s gorgeous curls! How adorable.

  2. Persephone says:

    Sigh…when will this end.

    • snappyfish says:

      Well at least the next time I need ivermectin to prevent roundworm for running through my barns it will be available at the co-op. My horses will be happy if they ever need any. The stupidity is vast. I am stunned at how moronic so many people are being. You don’t want the government telingl you what to do, yet you buckle up when you get in your car. Dogs can’t go to a dog park without being vaccinated, a child can’t enroll in school without being vaccinated. But we are going to take ivermectin for livestock and gargle betadine? I can’t even.

  3. LadyMTL says:

    Good lord, if you’re stupid enough to gargle Betadine then I think Covid is the least of your worries. I feel so bad for the already overworked hospital staff who’ll now have this to deal with on top of it all.

  4. teehee says:

    I love the uses of Betadine.
    But ingestion is NOT one of them!
    And internal antiviral is NOT one of them!

    Wow– what makes anyone think that this is gonna help. I mean I see the weak connection they make but– like overall, it makes no sense.

    I’ve been using a mini perfume spraybottle (like for travel/purse) filled with Listerine for my throat, that’s more than fine for me.

    But simply explained: “Whats happening” is political figures claiming to know more than specialists in the medical field, intervening in public health concerns for political sway and manipulative power, when this should be supported unbiasedly by any party.

    The good thing is, the antivax paradox: the more anti-vaxers there are, the fewer of them there are.

  5. Becks1 says:

    And yet….these people won’t get the vaccine, something that has been studied, regulated*, etc – and is meant for this VERY PURPOSE of preventing COVID.

    But sure, swallow a wound cleanser.

    *I know betadine has been studied etc but not for this!!

  6. ElleE says:

    Ok. Anyone else watch Dr. John Campbell? I started gargling with Listerine Total Care when he and the commentariat on his channel (other HCPs) shared stories of which ratio of H2O and Johnson’s baby shampoo was for the best post-shift eye wash was best, Total Care v. Listerine Bluemint, etc. It does kill whatever is sitting at the back of your throat everyday.

    This psy-ops thing on that takes everything that the medical community recommends in response to COVID-19 and provides an alternative in an effort to discredit the inteligista? They came up with their own alternative to Listerine (used in hospitals for decades for this purpose) switch it out with another hospital product? This is some sinister sh!t… there has to be just one organization behind this. They’re very responsive and consistent in their approach. They really want to see how many people they can get to kill themselves???

  7. TIFFANY says:

    Dr. Weinberg’s follow up response pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

    And I just read that 4 Urgent Care clinics in my home of STL have closed down due to not having MD and practitioners on staff.

    Hospitals will be next, trust.

    • Moo says:

      Corporate medicine would rather you not know that most urgent cares do not have medical doctors (MD or DO) available to evaluate patients. If yours does, like City MD, count yourself lucky (and ask to see a physician). In general, need to go to the ER to get a doctor, and even then you may have to insist (and wait longer) if a nurse triages your problem as relatively simple or benign.

      The problem is, non-physician providers don’t know what they don’t know, and you’re paying the same amount. Why would I pay so much for anything less than a doctor’s expertise?

      It’s also confusing as many nurse practitioners get a doctorate degree, which is a primarily non-clinical administrative degree and does not confer much, if any additional clinical expertise. So their name tag may identify them as Dr. Smith DNP, but they are not medical doctors and actually are not licensed to practice medicine. They practice advanced nursing, even though from the outside it may look like they do a lot of the things doctors do, just without the 17,000+ hours of background education and training.

      Your physician is doing a ton of background processing in order to diagnose and treat appropriately. There’s a good reason medical school is 4 years and directly supervised residency training is 3-7 years after that.

      • Smiles says:

        Moo, while I agree with you that physicians have a lot more extensive schooling and training during residency I have to disagree with your stance regarding your view on education of advanced practice providers. I am a Nurse Practitioner and work collaboratively with a physician seeing patients in the ED so patients are not only being seen by me but also do see the physician. As far as billing goes, in my state, patients are billed a fraction of what they would if they were seen by a physician. We do serve a purpose and clinical skills are valued and appreciated.

      • ElleE says:

        @smiles I mentioned John Campbell – he was interviewed on the news and he listed the recommendations he made to the NHS as part of some spending package. #2 on the list was the establishment of an alternative pathways to credentialing NHS medical practitioners, provide nurses who want to become drs. a career path forward, office workers that want to become med techs, I thought that you might find that interesting. It is on his channel.

        #1 was go back to the old style of NHS hospitals, (windows that open, the big, world war 2 style multiple, patient rooms – I guess those work for a reason for some things) and let staff have input into the building plans as the NHS has to retrofit new buildings to provide better care. I thought that was interesting too!

    • Ashley says:

      @Tiffany. Fellow STL dweller here. I’m also a nurse. Which urgent cares have closed? This is terrifying.

      • TIFFANY says:

        The county areas. St. Charles, Valley Park, Sunset Hills and the city of O’Fallon.

        This tracks with considering who lives out there. Why they call these places St Louis County still makes me scratch my brain.

  8. BeanieBean says:

    Le sigh. We have lost the plot.

    • Lady D says:

      Sooner or later, they will work there way up to something dangerous. I honestly expect the next expert along will suggest gargling with Round-Up to cure their Covid.

      • Golly Gee says:

        There’s always the old Trump-endorsed standby —bleach. The burning sensation experienced as you’re drinking it is entirely normal. That’s how you know it’s working to kill Covid!

  9. DrSnark says:

    Lol, I own a horse farm and am so pleased that I already have all the covid remedies I need. Ivermectin, check. Betadine, check. Is liniment next? I have that!

  10. Lurker25 says:

    The dystopian future of Idiocracy is really hurtling toward us, isn’t it?
    Watering plants with an energy drink (“because it’s got electrolytes!”) seemed too absurd to be funny, back in the genius era, circa 2006.

    Now… I mean, yeah. I can see it on Facebook/YouTube already:
    “My plant babies were so droopy and sad! They were, like, dyyiinngghh! They needed ENERGY! So, here’s my hot tip, besties!”

    Kill me now. Just murder me.

    • Lady D says:

      Did you really see that on Facebook? If true, I want to join you.

      • Lurker25 says:

        No, I made that up. I’m seeing A LOT of “plant doctor” stuff. People crying that their plant babies are dying, whyyyy, and others claiming to be “experts” helping.

        I mean, I’m looking at photos of pothos, spider plants, dracaena, birds of paradise… Basic tough-as-nails office plants. It’s literally impossible to over water pothos since cuttings root in water. No one in this batch is trying to cultivate orchids.

        Yet, they seem to not know how to use their god-given senses (“so, like, actually put my fingers IN the dirt?!” – real comment) and more appallingly, seem to throw out what they think are “dead” plants at signs of yellowing/drooping. And, predictably to the rescue come equally clueless but definitely more mercenary Google-fu “experts” …

        It’s… Sigh.

  11. terra says:

    “When told that anti-vaxxers had taken to gargling with Betadine, Weinberg said, “F-k me! Of course they are.””

    Reader, I am somewhat ashamed to say that I truly laughed out loud when I got to that part.

    Then I had to stop myself from breaking down into frustrated tears because yes, Dr. Weinberg, you’re right . . . of f@#king course they are.

  12. fluffy_bunny says:

    Why don’t they do something, IDK, like get the FDA approved fucking vaccine instead of ingesting poison?

  13. Lila says:

    Well I really feel for any innocent children that might have it forced on them by their parents. But adults doing this to themselves? It’s kind of a problem that fixes itself.

    • USAF retired says:

      Mmm Hmm.
      It’s the offspring of idiots that I most fear for. Kids don’t have any say.
      Most of my family are a bunch of redneck farmers and ranchers. Not all farmers/ranchers are. Mine are.
      I avoid them. They seemed shocked when the news recently came out that emergency rooms in their state were so filled with morons who had ingested Ivermectin that gunshot victims had to wait. I’ll bet I’m related to some of the ones clogging
      up the works. Can’t pick family but you can avoid them.

      AND SINCE I’M HERE, kids have had to be vaccinated to attend school since before I was a kid. The nuts say, “But it hasn’t been approved!” Well, now what ya got?
      That it was, “rushed”? Damn, people make my ass tired.
      Can you imagine if we weren’t vaccinated for Smallpox, Polio, etc.? Horrible way to die but there would be a lot fewer of us.

    • badrockandroll says:

      In my quasi-rural community, many of the the vocal anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers are also rapture-seeking home schoolers. Tucked in between what ever sort of curricula that they must follow (or at least say that they follow) is a whole lot of whackadoodle that is unmitigated by any other authoritative voice. I feel that these kids don’t have any sort of chances.

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Let them.

  15. pottymouth pup says:

    Good lord, are they incapable of using anything for the purpose for which it was designed? If they want to gargle something to help mitigate COVID exposure, at least use something meant to be gargled like Peroxyl. Dental offices are having patients rinse their mouths with it prior to dental work/cleanings as part of their COVID mitigation plans to help protect staff from exposure while working with patients. It’s not the COVID panacea the right-wingers always think their new fad is but at least it will improve their overall dental hygiene

    • Lucky Charm says:

      Well, they’re showing they are COMPLETELY incapable of using their brain for the purpose for which it was designed. I just wish they would all stay at home and leave the hospitals for the truly sick and injured. We don’t need hospital beds being used by Covidiots.

  16. Sarah says:

    I can’t take credit for this idea because I saw something similar on Twitter. The thing that zombie movies got wrong was assuming that everyone would fight the zombies. Covid has taught us that a significant percentage of the population will actively work to be killed by them instead. This Betadine thing is similar, I think.

  17. Sarah says:

    The things they come up with just to avoid getting a shot or two. So much easier to get a quick needle in the arm and go about your business. The mental gymnastics it takes and the stress it must cause to constantly look for the “next thing” that isn’t going to work just to prove that you are nor a “sheep” or “scared” or whatever must be exhausting.

  18. Christine says:

    The mental hoops you have to go through to avoid getting a FREE vaccine is insane to me.

    • Lurker25 says:

      I wonder if it’s connected to the impulse control/delayed gratification thing that kids are supposed to develop. Executive decision making in the prefrontal cortex.

      So it’s not so much metal gymnastics as “vax will DEF knock me out for a day or two of aches and other side effects” versus “who knows? I might never get it and Joe schmo says it’s barely a cold anyway!”

      Winner = immediate discomfort is a hard no. Future rewards are too foggy to accept.

  19. Liz version 700 says:

    I had to use Betadine when I almost took off a toe and had it sewn back on. It burns like fire on the outside. I can’t imagine consuming it ?!!! Literally these people will do anything but take the vaccine

  20. Valerie says:

    They’ll take anything but the vaccine, lmao. I was just telling someone the other day about the time I had to buy iodine for my budgie. I had to put a couple of drops in her water as a supplement. At no point did it ever occur to me to use what was left over. Now they’re gargling with Betadine.

  21. jferber says:

    Yes, I’m surprised they haven’t started ingesting windshield wiper fluid yet, but give it time. It kills dogs and cats so it must kill Covid! Lemmings just have to go over the cliff, but they have no right to drag the rest of the population with them.

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