A 51-page legal statement prepared by the India Bar Association (IBA) attacked WHO Chief Scientist of India Soumya Swaminathan with 71 counts describing Swaminatan’s evaluation discouraging ivermectin to treat COVID-19 as “extremely unreasonable” and “having another purpose.”
The Association called to invoke articles 302, 304 (paragraph 2), and 88 of the Indian Penal Code regarding murder and other crimes to punish Swaminathan. If Swaminatan is convicted, she may face the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Ivermectin was first developed as a veterinary drug in the 1970s, however since 1988 it has been prescribed for humans to combat various parasitic infections. Was later added to the WHO’s list of essential medications and in 2015 the inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
According to reports from the Indian The Print news network and the independent global health news website Healthpolicy-Watch, the India Bar Association (IBA) submitted the suit on May 25th. The statement accused her of “initiating a false propaganda campaign against ivermectin” and “inducing the public to refuse to use ivermectin” to treat COVID-19.
On May 10th, India’s Health Ministry approved an ivermectin-based COVID treatment regimen, recommending all residents over 18-years-old take 5 ivermectin tablets, and that this can prevent fatal high fever associated with COVID-19.
After the Health Ministry introduced the policy, Swaminatan reiterated the view of the WHO, tweeting: “No matter what kind of medicine is used to treat the disease, safety and effectiveness are very important. Except in clinical trials, the WHO does not recommend the use of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.”
The India Bar Association wrote in its legal statement: “Your misleading tweet against the use of ivermectin on May 10 this year led to the exclusion of ivermectin from the coronavirus treatment regimen in Tamil Nadu on May 11, despite the fact that this drug was previously a treatment on the drug list.
“The world has gradually realized that you use the ’scientific method’ to describe fabricated facts. This method is absurd, arbitrary, and ridiculous. The WHO claims to be ’omniscient’, but this is like a vain emperor wearing his new clothes, and the whole world only now knows that the emperor is wearing no clothes at all.”
IBA legal team head Dipali Ojha further threatened: “Issuing a legal statement is only the first step, we will continue to move forward.”
Swaminathan deleted the tweet after receiving the legal statement, but on June 5th, the IBA updated their website: “The action of deleting the tweet just proved her maliciousness… Deleting this tweet will not save her and her colleagues. We will support citizens to initiate litigation for her criminal actions.” It is unclear whether the organization has formally filed a lawsuit.
The WHO said in response statement that they “regret” unprovoked attacks on senior officials.
Swaminathan is an Indian pediatrician and clinical scientist well-known for tuberculosis research, and has been the chief scientist of the WHO since March 2019.
WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan Thursday told NDTV that the Delta Plus coronavirus variant is not presently a “variant of concern” for the World Health Organization, and its infection numbers are still low.
She also said there was “no logic” in some nations blocking Covishield from their vaccine passport program, “which will allow hassle-free travel during the pandemic.”