Tito Ortiz appears to be promoting unproven medical products and drugs as guaranteed cures for COVID-19.
While mourning the loss of his long-time coach Saul Soliz, who died on Tuesday due to complications stemming from COVID-19, Ortiz blamed doctors for not prescribing Soliz with unproven medication that he claims would have saved the coach’s life. “Shame on those doctors,” Ortiz said in his Instagram post about Soliz.
Ortiz followed up in the comment section of his Instagram post that Soliz was “denied the meds my doctor gave to 10 of my friends, and of 100 of his patients that had 100% recovery. But big phama doesn’t make money off those cheap meds. Therapeutic medication work but it’s not a part of the agenda.” (H/t @FullContactMTWF)
When asked to clarify his statement by MMAFighting’s Video Director E. Casey Leydon, Ortiz shared an older social media post where he espoused the benefits of unproven medications suggested by his doctor, which included Ivermectin, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms. Topical forms of ivermectin are also approved to treat external parasites like head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea. The list also included hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), a drug used to treat or prevent malaria, as well as symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.
The FDA has not approved ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral (a drug for treating viruses) and can be dangerous in large doses. According to the FDA, it is possible to “overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.”
Hydroxychloroquine was first popularized as a potential cure for COVID-19 in March 2020, when former U.S. President Donald Trump falsely stated that the drug had been approved by the FDA for treating COVID-19. However, multiple high-quality studies subsequently showed no benefit of hydroxychloroquine use as a COVID-19 treatment. It is also worth noting that hydroxychloroquine can have dangerous effects on the heart, as well as irreversible damage to the retina.
Despite overwhelming evidence that Ortiz’s suggested magical cures do not treat COVID-19, the former UFC fighter and disgraced Mayor Pro Tem of Huntington Beach, California, continues to blame doctors for his coach’s death.
“I’m pissed at the fact that the doctors wouldn’t give [my coach] the medication that would’ve killed [COVID-19]. The medication that I told him to take wasn’t a part of the protocol and [the doctors] put him on a ventilator, that’s what killed him,” Ortiz said on Instagram.