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The Rubin Report/Youtube The Wellness Company Dana Loesch/Facebook BRAVE Books/Youtube

EXCLUSIVE: COVID skeptics are now hyping bird flu fears—and making money pushing prescription ‘contagion kits’

The kit includes Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.


Tricia Crimmins


A medical company founded by COVID-19 skeptics is selling prescription medicine as part of a “Contagion Emergency Kit,” using right-wing influencers to hype fears of bird flu to push the product.

The medications included—ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine—are the same ones touted by conservative politicians, talking heads, and medical professionals as alternative cures for COVID during the pandemic.

The Wellness Company is teaming up with online figures who denied the severity of the COVID pandemic but seem to have no problem advertising the importance of a different pandemic.

Despite only four confirmed human cases of virus since 2022, reporting on bird flu has ramped up in recent months. Those cases have worried experts and their concerns are growing

Some even say that downplaying the virus, like what happened at the beginning of the COVID outbreak, would be perilous.

The Wellness Company and its partners certainly aren’t downplaying it. Some are casting bird flu as what could be the next supposedly government-orchestrated pandemic—and encouraging customers to arm themselves with medication so they may opt out of any potential government disease control initiatives.

The kit’s heavy hitters are well-known in conservative circles. 

Former President Donald Trump said he took hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, in May 2020 as “protection against COVID,” which he then contracted months later. 

Conservative figures have also claimed that hydroxychloroquine can treat COVID symptoms after contracting the virus.

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that is safe for use by humans and animals afflicted with parasites that has been also praised for its antiviral effects. 

It has also been touted by multiple Republicans and conservative figures alike as an alternative treatment for COVID. 

Both drugs, when used for COVID and not for their FDA-approved purposes, were linked to deaths. Neither hydroxychloroquine nor ivermectin have been proven to fight bird flu, either. 

Regardless, during the pandemic, the two drugs became cultural totems for those who doubted the severity of COVID, didn’t trust the government’s response to it, and criticized a potential vaccine. 

In addition to both medications, the kit also includes Azithromycin, an antibiotic best known as Z-Pack, an antiviral medication used to treat the flu, a corticosteroid prescribed for inflammation, and a nebulizer.

The Wellness Company is the brainchild of Foster Coulson, an entrepreneur who aims to make the “parallel economy” a reality. The “parallel economy” is a burgeoning market made up of conservative owned and led companies that market themselves as alternatives to mainstream “woke” enterprises. The right-wing movement has spawned dating apps, social media platforms, and digital marketplaces.

Coulson enlisted well-known right-wing doctors to back the Wellness Company: Peter McCullough, an anti-vax doctor who was removed from the faculties of four major medical institutions, is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. Drew Pinsky—better known as Dr. Drew, the reality TV doctor and addiction specialist turned COVID skeptic—is its Chief Patient Officer.

The Wellness Company, Coulson, and McCollough did not respond to Daily Dot requests for comment. 

To receive the kit, customers have to fill out intake forms to become Wellness Company patients. 

Company doctors then review and approve the medications in the kit. A similar process for other medications sold by other companies—for conditions such as baldness and erectile dysfunction—has been compared to rubber stamping, automatically approving something without adequate examination.

And as the medications are not approved to fight bird flu, company doctors most likely are prescribing them for off-label usage. 

Hydroxychloroquine is FDA-approved to treat malaria and some autoimmune diseases, not, as the Wellness Company puts it, “the next pandemic.” 

Doctors prescribing patients drugs off-label is technically legal and sometimes necessary, but Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University, told the Daily Dot in an interview that off-label prescriptions can have dire consequences depending on the medication prescribed. 

“Not all off-label prescriptions are wrong,” Dr. Fugh-Berman said. “However, a lot of them are.”

And off-label prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID and bird flu are dangerous, Dr. Fugh-Berman said.

That’s because, unlike other telemedicine companies that prescribe medications for specific conditions, the Contagion Emergency Kit could technically be prescribed to anyone—because it isn’t being sold as a cure but rather as a prophylactic mechanism for any future pandemic. 

“Who is not going to be eligible for the emergency medicine kit?” Dr. Fugh-Berman asked, given that, save for four reported cases, people aren’t being diagnosed with bird flu.

“These are drugs that can cause liver problems and renal problems and all kinds of things. They’re potent drugs that are very useful for conditions that they’ve been proven to help, but these aren’t vitamins.”

The Wellness Company seems aware of the risks associated with the medications included in its Contagion Emergency Kit.

On its site, the company states that the drugs “are intended only to be used under provider supervision.” It notes that should patients be in an emergency contagion situation, they should “make a free, follow-up appointment with one of our providers for diagnosis and a treatment,” as ads for the prescriptions often highlight potential shortages during pandemics as a reason to purchase now, not to take at a patient’s whim.

But the people selling the Wellness Company’s kits don’t seem to push that protocol. 

Dana Loesch, a popular conservative radio host, has advertised the company’s “Medical Emergency Kit,” which also includes ivermectin but not hydroxychloroquine, and said it came with a “doctor’s guide” on how to use the kit’s medications. When she said she took the medication for strep throat, she didn’t mention consulting a doctor

Loesch did not respond to a request for comment but touts the Wellness Company as a podcast sponsor.

It’s unclear if the Contagion Emergency Kit includes a doctor’s guide. But even if it does, the doctors that prescribe customers hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin could be liable for adverse side effects they might experience, Edward Bednarczyk, a professor of pharmacy at the University at Buffalo told the Daily Dot.

“There’s a certain amount of latitude that prescribers get to be able to [prescribe medications] for non-labeled conditions, non-FDA approved conditions. They do that at their own risk,” Bednarczyk said. “If the patient gets sick or develops toxicities, that patient can turn back to the prescriber and say, ‘hey, you did this to me.’” 

The Contagion Emergency Kit goes for $324.99 on the company’s site, but the Wellness Company has partnered with right-wing influencers to give buyers 10-15% off with influencer-specific codes. 

These influencers have tagged posts as ads and highlighted the Wellness Company as a sponsor on podcasts. And the timely sales pitch these right-wing podcast hosts and content creators are getting paid to push is bird flu.

“The Chief Medical Board of the Wellness Company has been closely watching the avian flu outbreak in the U.S. over the last couple of weeks, and while it is far from certain that this most recent strand of bird flu will result in a pandemic,” conservative commentator Dave Rubin said on his show, The Rubin Report, “We know that the medical tyrants are never gonna be done with us.”

Rubin claimed that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are “effective medications for bird flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses,” to his show’s 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. 

In 2022, Rubin questioned the severity of COVID saying that the amount of people who died from the virus doesn’t “make sense.” 

He has also alleged that pandemics are created by the government as a means of controlling the populace. 

“Why didn’t we find one city that was completely infected and everyone died?” Rubin said at the time. “I’m just asking questions here, okay. I don’t mean to be a crazy right-wing conspiracy theorist when I say all this. I’m just asking the questions.”

That same year, Rubin also said that taking ivermectin, Advil, and monoclonal antibodies cleared his COVID up “in a few days.” 

Rubin did not respond to a request for comment.

Rogan O’Handley, a lawyer and popular conservative influencer who goes by @DC_Draino online, made similar claims in a recent (now-deleted) Instagram post about an epidemiologist’s X thread concerning the efficacy of flu medications against bird flu. O’Handley has over 4 million followers on Instagram and X combined. 

“Most don’t think Bird Flu is going to be like Covid, but this Harvard Medical doctor is warning people to prep just in case,” O’Handley wrote in the post that’s since been deleted. “Hit the link in bio to grab your Contagion Medical Kit… Use code DRAINO for 10% off. Just trying to help others prepare for the worst.”

Like Rubin, O’Handley has also been publicly skeptical about the severity of COVID and the safety of vaccines. He claims that the U.S. government and Dr. Anthony Fauci unleashed the virus during an election year (2020), that big pharma profited off the free-to-all COVID-19 vaccine, that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were the best medications to treat COVID all along, and that the latter medication wasn’t made available to the public to keep people “scared and depressed” rather than hopeful.

“Sadly, Covid taught us that the gov’t doesn’t want us having the safe medicines that actually work,” O’Handley said about stockpiling flu medication in case of a bird flu pandemic in a now-deleted tweet.

O’Handley did not respond to a request for comment but deleted posts about the Contagion Emergency Kit after being contacted

The Wellness Company is partnering with smaller conservative voices, too. Alec Lace, a podcaster who has had guests like Matthew McConaughey and Steve Harvey on his show “First Class Fatherhood,” posted on X last month about the Contagion Emergency Kit. 

He, too, alleges that COVID wasn’t natural but released—and that it’s “nothing more than the flu.”

“Third Person in US tests positive for Bird Flu! Just in time for election season!” Lace said. “Protect your family!”

Right-wing small media outlets like X22 Report, a daily social media show, and Good Dog, a small outlet that partners with right-wing vendors, have posted discount codes for the kit, too.

“It’s been determined that the FDA lied in their demonization of ivermectin and other effective drugs for the last four years,” Dave, the host of the X22 report said last month. “Now more than ever, we need to have these life saving medications on hand… they’re lifelines for the next [pandemic]. Because there will be a next time.”

In March, the FDA settled a lawsuit from doctors that claimed that the administration’s campaign against ivermectin being used for COVID overstepped its authority. The campaign included a now-deleted viral tweet saying “you are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all stop it,” linking to an FDA article about how ivermectin should not be used to prevent or treat COVID.

Though it settled the suit, the FDA stated it still “has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID.” 

Good Dog also posted an affiliate link for the Contagion Emergency Kit.

“Peace of mind for the unexpected,” the outlet posted on X and Truth Social. “Get your family healthy today!”

Neither Lace, X22, nor Good Dog responded to requests for comment. 

The kit has received over 200 five-star reviews on the Wellness Company’s website. Even though many buyers say they haven’t yet taken any of the medications included in it, they’re happy to have it just in case.

“I have been blessed with good health so I haven’t used any of my kit yet,” reviewer William S. wrote in a November 2023 review. “Peace of mind knowing I am somewhat prepared for whatever the diabolical lunatics are planning next.”

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