Ted Nugent says that he won’t take the COVID-19 vaccine because the shots that are available in the United States have been authorized on an emergency basis but have yet to be fully approved.
Like antivaccine activists, talk show hosts, and far-right politicians, Ted — who spoke openly about his battle with COVID-19 three months ago — has made the vaccines’ “experimental” nature a talking point.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you vaccinated?’ Yeah,” Ted said in his July 26 YouTube livestream (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “My name is Ted Nugent. I am completely vaccinated — I’ve had all my vaccinations. I haven’t had any unauthorized guinea pig test shots, but I’ve had all my vaccinations. I’ve had all my shots that qualify and are vaccinations, but I haven’t had any experimental shots, and I won’t take any experimental shots. Not only because I know it’s my right, but I think the Nuremberg trials [a series of military tribunals held after World War II to convict Nazis of their war crimes, including six million Jews and other minorities for medical trials] proved that no man, no Nazi or people who try to be Nazis can force anybody to take any medicine or experiment on human beings with untried medicines.”
All three vaccines available in the United States — made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) — have been given an emergency use authorization (EUA), which FDA (Food and Drug Administration) offers during crises as a quick way to give people access to potentially lifesaving medicines. Full FDA approval occurs when a product has been determined to provide benefits that outweigh its known and potential risks for the intended population. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, recently said he expected full approval for Pfizer in a month or so, by August, and Moderna to follow thereafter.
In April, Nugent talked about the darkest days of his battle with COVID-19, saying that he had “never been so scared” in his entire life. The 72-year-old pro-gun activist, who had previously claimed the virus was “not a real pandemic,” said: “It was really scary. I didn’t think I was gonna make it. I literally couldn’t function for about 20 hours, and then they came and they rescued me… The six-foot-two, 225-pound headache [this time] was like nothing I have ever experienced. I mean, from my tip of my toes to the top of my hair, I literally was dizzy and weak and struggled to get up to go to the bathroom. And I would lay in the bathtub a couple of times a day with the water as hot as I could take it just to divert.”
Ted also said that he was being treated for COVID-19 by a group of doctors who made a video last year calling for the use of hydroxychloroquine to battle the novel coronavirus, despite warnings from public health experts. Nugent went on to detail his clinical management of COVID-19, saying he was taking hydroxychloroquine, “a proven drug for 65 years,” as well as ivermectin, “another proven drug.”
Hydroxychloroquine is the malaria drug pushed by then-president Donald Trump that proved ineffective against COVID-19. In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning, saying the drugs could cause heart-rhythm problems and warning they should be used only in the hospital setting or in clinical trials.
Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug used to treat several neglected tropical diseases in humans is also used in veterinary medicine. According to The Washington Post, the Food and Drug Administration said at least three people were hospitalized in February after taking the veterinary formulation. It warned that high doses can cause allergic reactions, seizures, liver injury and even death.
In the past, Nugent, a staunch Donald Trump supporter, had referred to the virus as a “leftist scam to destroy” America’s 45th president. He had also repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated.