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Sen. Johnson wants drug companies to give possible COVID remedies a try, calls 2017 tax story “another one of the big lies”



FILE - US Senator Ron Johnson speaks during press conference after talks with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Why not give it a shot? That’s what US Senator Ron Johnson is saying to big drug companies, urging more testing of existing drugs to see if they can be used for treating COVID-19. 

The Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday, on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk, that the companies seem to be ignoring the possibility that a drug like ivermectin could help COVID patients. 

The Senator believes the drug-makers are motivated by profits.

“There’s no profit for them, or very little profit, to the big pharmaceutical companies, so they’re just ignored,” said Johnson, who believes old drugs might be more effective against COVID than ones being developed now.

Johnson is concerned that many people who have died from COVID might have “died needlessly” because experts don’t use medications already on the shelf.

Johnson said reported deaths from the use of those drugs are small compared to thousands of deaths among people who have taken the COVID vaccines.

“Sixteen hundred deaths versus 16,000 for the COVID vaccine, and FDA is trying to warn people — they are warning people, ‘Don’t try it ivermectin.'” he said. “Why not? Why not give it a shot? That’s what I’ve always said.”

Johnson claimed drug companies and the government are unfairly limiting the amount of testing being done on cheaper medicines.

Johnson was also asked about reports that he paid just $2,105 in state income tax in 2017, despite earnings of at least $450,000. Johnson’s average state income tax payment over a 10-year span was $60,000 a year — or about 30 times more than he paid in 2017.

Johnson gave some reasons for the figures but then called it a “big lie.”

“They cherry pick one year, where either I prepaid taxes the previous year or I had some reported losses or whatever,” Johnson said. “This is really making a mountain out of a mole hill. Completely distortive.

“It’s just another one of the big lies the media is more than happy to engage in because they want this US Senate seat for Democrats.”

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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