HONOLULU (AP) — Maui’s top state health official is co-founder of a group that says on its website that it “advocates for true informed consent before taking the experimental COVID-19 vaccines,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.
Dr. Lorrin Pang, who has served for more than two decades as the Maui district health officer for the state Department of Health, is co-founder of the Pono Coalition for Informed Consent.
He supports the state’s efforts to increase vaccinations against COVID-19, he said. As a member of the group, he told the Honolulu newspaper, he is speaking as a private resident and doesn’t always agree with views of other members.
“If you are going to be guilty by association, that’s kind of a form of prejudice, bias and censorship, isn’t it?” he said. “I thought in this day and age we look at people for what they are, not who they associate with.”
Pang said that he supports the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID-19, but added that the drugs need to be administered at the right time and at the right dosage: “You give the wrong thing at the wrong time, it is very dangerous.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin should not be used to treat COVID-19.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin in both people and animals for some parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions. The FDA has not approved its use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.
“Using any treatment for COVID-19 that’s not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm,” the FDA said in a warning about the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine was approved by the FDA to treat malaria and certain autoimmune conditions. The World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that the drug is effective at reducing the chance of severe illness or death from COVID-19, and warns that when used in COVID-19 patients, it can increase the risk of heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph disorders, kidney injury, liver problems and failure.
One of the group’s members is Dr. Kirk Milhoan, a pediatric cardiologist and senior pastor at Calvary Chapel South Maui.
He outlined his treatments in a videotaped discussion with Pang. It involves using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as early treatment options.
He said he disagrees with the FDA and maintains his early treatment protocol is an option for people who, like himself, don’t want to get vaccinated.
Later Wednesday, Maui’s mayor condemned the off-label use hydroxychloroquine and the ivermectin as treatments for COVID-19 in response to reports about it being used to treat people on Maui.