Iowa doctor promotes ivermectin, calls masks ‘silly’ and says pandemic is over

By: - December 15, 2021 1:28 pm

Dr. Mollie James, a vocal proponent of ivermectin and opponent of mask mandates and vaccine mandates, has opened a medical clinic in Iowa that sells ‘memberships’ to patients. (Main photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images; text from Dr. James’ Twitter account)

Mollie James is an Iowa-licensed doctor who doesn’t mince words when it comes to the government’s response to COVID-19.

Wearing face masks in public? “It’s silly, it’s ineffective,” she says.

The COVID-19 vaccines? “How many injured or dead do you need to see before you understand the shot is a bad idea?” she asks.

The pandemic itself? “The pandemic is over,” she tweeted a month ago.

Dr. Anthony Fauci? “Evil is easy to recognize,” she says, comparing the immunologist to an arsonist working for a fire department.

Ivermectin, the so-called horse dewormer?  “There’s no medicine that’s safer on the planet,” she says, adding that she prescribes it for her COVID-19 patients while other doctors refuse for fear of losing their license.

Over the past year, James has become a minor celebrity in the conservative media, singing the praises of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19, while condemning Fauci, the Biden administration and much of the medical establishment in general.

She is board certified in general surgery and critical care medicine, having trained at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and the University of Minnesota. In 2016, she launched reBalance Functional Medicine in Des Moines, then relocated to St. Louis.

In the early days of the pandemic, she worked periodically in the intensive care unit of a New York City hospital, traveling there monthly while juggling her duties in Missouri.

At one point, her income topped a quarter of a million dollars per year, according to court records. Then, this year, she found herself unemployed after refusing to comply with the vaccine mandates from all three of the hospitals that employed her. She filed for bankruptcy in the spring, declaring debts of $1.4 million, and now she runs The James Clinic in Chariton where, she says, “doctors are doctors again.”

State records show James’ Iowa medical license is in good standing with no history of any disciplinary action.

Kent Nebel, executive director of the Iowa Board of Medicine, said the licensing board can’t comment on James specifically, but is currently looking at complaints involving Iowa doctors who are spreading questionable information about COVID-19.

The board respects the free-speech rights of physicians, he said, but it’s also aware that spreading misinformation impacts the public health and may intersect with a physician’s treatment of specific patients.

“I can tell you that in general we are receiving these types of complaints and we are evaluating them on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the doctors are providing appropriate care,” Nebel said. “There is a distinction between the medical care actually provided and their personal opinions on social media, and the board is trying to evaluate that as a whole to determine whether they’re a danger to the public.”

Clinic charges ‘membership’ fees  

James did not respond to messages the Iowa Capital Dispatch left with her clinic staff, but she has spoken publicly about her medical philosophy on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, talk radio and conservative podcasts.

Much of what she says about COVID-19 contradicts the federal government’s advice on mitigation and treatment, a fact she readily acknowledges.

“I tell my patients not to get vax with natural immunity,” she tweeted on Oct. 18. “I’ve had several tell me they understand but are pressured. Seriously, this is NOT something you need to die for!”

The CDC has emphasized the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, saying reports of adverse events such as allergic reactions, myocarditis or pericarditis are rare and the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks.

One of her websites – which bears the domain name IvermectinCan.com — states that The James Clinic is a membership-based “concierge practice” for Iowans who are “ready to take their health back.”

Patients pay a “membership” fee and in return they are eligible for a multi-tiered array of services. The “Platinum+ Members” are entitled to a personal health concierge, a functional-medicine assessment, extended physician availability, “monthly advanced infusions” of something that’s not specified, and unlimited treatments in the clinic’s new hyperbaric chamber.

According to the clinic’s website, treatment fees for COVID-19 range from $290 for those who simply want to prevent the virus, to $990 for those with long-haul symptoms of the virus. Those who are currently sick with the virus pay $490, and those who are sick and having trouble breathing are charged $790.

In a September interview with podcaster Michael Farris, James said there are other doctors like her who prescribe ivermectin and offer alternative treatments for COVID-19, but they tend not to advertise that fact because of the potential “repercussions or the blowback” they might face.

Even then, she told Farris, her patients face the additional hurdle of not being able to find pharmacies willing to fill the prescriptions she writes for ivermectin.

“This is literally life and death,” she told Farris. “Because if somebody’s on the verge of going to the hospital, ivermectin can turn them around in 24 to 48 hours as part of a multi-modal treatment.”

The FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 and says currently available data doesn’t indicate it is effective and may pose a risk to some patients.

Earlier this week, it was reported that a Pennsylvania man whose wife went to court to have his COVID-19 infection treated with ivermectin died one a week after receiving his first dose of the drug.  In that case, the man received his first dose on Dec. 5, two weeks after he entered intensive care; James argues the drug is part of an early-intervention strategy to be used prior to hospitalization.

‘Children are at ZERO risk from Covid.’

On Twitter, James recently posted, “We are winning! No mandates. No vax for kids … We’re literally killing our kids because the boomers are scared. Pathetic.”

She also wrote, “Where is your red line? In order to work will you let someone swab your nose weekly? Wear a market (sic) that you’re “unclean”? Jab you?

“My rights come from God and require none of this nonsense.”

She also decried “medical censorship” and objected to the federal government’s “Ministry of Truth deciding what it’s OK for doctors to tell their patients,” adding, “This is what being a pawn for The Biden regime looks like.”

In response to a news report about the enforcement of mask mandates in schools, she tweeted, “Parents-end this now. Stand up for your children … This is criminal. Children are at ZERO risk from Covid.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 5 or older be vaccinated. Children’s risk of infection is similar to that of adults, and infected children may also be at risk for prolonged post-COVID-19 conditions, hospitalization or death, the CDC says.

On her clinic’s Facebook page, James writes that “it’s criminal that the majority of hospitals and doctors are withholding lifesaving medications and still don’t know how to take care of c19.”

A few weeks ago, on Twitter, James wrote: “I challenge any licensed doc or pharmacist telling people iver/early treatment doesn’t work to spend the day in my clinic. Your eyes will be immediately opened. Please take me up on this.  We need more people on the right side of this.”

She also tweeted a link to a story posted by Gateway Pundit – its slogan is “We report the truth and leave the Russia-collusion fairy tale to the conspiracy media” – that describes her treatment of a veteran with COVID-19.

According to the story, the veteran was concerned with his health and contacted Steve Deace, a conservative radio commentator based in Iowa. Deace placed the man in touch with James, who prescribed ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

According to the story, a Walmart pharmacist refused to fill the prescription, which prompted James to call the pharmacist and demand an explanation.

The story quotes James as saying, “He said, ‘I’m not comfortable filling those prescriptions,’ and I of course asked why not. And he tells me that they’re not FDA-approved. And I said to him, ‘That’s curious, because on hold I heard an advertisement for COVID vaccines at Walmart that are similarly not FDA-approved. So clearly FDA approval is not a standard that your company goes by.’ … I asked for his name and license number and instead of giving it, he just hung up on me.”

After a Hy-Vee pharmacist also refused to fill the prescription, the story says, the veteran and his wife “mixed actual horse dewormer they bought at a feed store into applesauce and ate it, hoping their calculations about its increased concentration and potency were correct when accounting for their reduced weights … Eight hours after taking Ivermectin, for the first time in 10 days, (the veteran) was able to get out of bed and watched the sunset.”

“So now there’s a federal lawsuit against Walmart to teach them a lesson,” James told the audience at a conference one week ago. “And I pray that we win.”

‘People are going to have to wise up.’

The James Clinic’s Facebook page currently promotes “the Blue Banana,” a new hyperbaric chamber used to treat people with active COVID-19 infections as well as those who have lingering, long-haul symptoms. The clinic says “most places won’t let actively sick Covid patients in-that’s when they need it most.” Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing 100% oxygen inside a chamber such as the one offered by the clinic. Such devices are FDA approved, but not to treat respiratory distress in COVID-positive patients.

In a video interview with former CNN journalist Alison Morrow, James was asked how she manages to stay in business given the attitude of the medical community and licensing boards.

“If you’re treating patients who are looking for the care you offer, I’m not sure what the question is,” James told Morrow. “As long as you explain what you’re doing, you discuss all the risk and benefits – which is what medicine always comes back to, a risk-benefit discussion – as long as you come back to that and you have patients who are treated and you are available for follow up and you act professionally, I’m not sure what standard is violated there.”

A week ago, James was interviewed on a Fox News radio station in St. Louis,  on the same show, commenting on vaccine manufacturers’ suggestion that people get a booster shot to help combat the omicron variant.

“People are going to have to wise up as consumers,” she said, “and realize that the people who are saying this have a serious financial stake in the game and they’re led by Dr. Fauci, and I dare even call him a physician or a doctor because he’s not treating patients.”

Asked about the pharmacists who refuse to fill her prescriptions for ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, she said, “We have, basically, a nationwide database that our practice uses. So we know where to go. And I basically don’t use pharmacies we have had issue with. So we’re getting around it.”

In 2019, James defaulted on a lease for office space in West Des Moines, resulting in a $40,000 court judgment against her. Earlier this year, she filed for bankruptcy, claiming $682,000 in assets, including a $450,000 home in Wildwood, Mo., and $1.4 million in debts.

At the recent COVID-19 conference, James described the treatment she provided for her 40-year-old brother when he came down with COVID-19 in October.

“When his stats dropped, we didn’t go to the hospital,” she said. “We hopped in the car and we drove five hours to get in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber because at that moment I didn’t want a doctor who would tell me, ‘Well, I know how to help you, but I can’t because my employer won’t let me.’ I didn’t want somebody who would say, ‘Well, gee, ivermectin might help you but I’ll lose my license.’ I wanted a doctor who would do everything they knew about, use every tool they had, every effort they had, to save my family’s life. So, four days later my brother was off oxygen, and five days later he was back to work because we found the right doctor.”

In one of her recent interviews with the St. Louis radio station, James said she has little patience for doctors who refuse to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, given what she sees as the drugs’ efficacy.

“We have an ethical commitment to our patients to do the right thing,” she said. “At some point, doctors have to be held accountable if they’re doing the wrong thing for their patients to get a paycheck.”

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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