‘You will pay for this’: Va. senator threatened during COVID debate

Another debate related to the pandemic got out of control in Virginia, as someone yelled threats at a state lawmaker during a Virginia Senate committee meeting.

After the Senate Education and Health Committee last week voted to reject a bill that would have protected doctors who prescribe certain unapproved drugs for COVID-19, a woman shouted at Sen. L. Louise Lucas, who chairs the committee, saying, “You will pay for this one day!”

The measure would have guaranteed that doctors would not face any discipline from the Virginia Board of Medicine if they prescribe hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to COVID patients.

“The bill prohibits the Board of Medicine from initiating a disciplinary action against a licensed health care provider solely for prescribing, administering, or dispensing hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to a patient with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19,” according to the legislation.

Several other people yelled at Lucas as she banged her gavel and ordered the rowdy crowd to leave the room. As they were escorted out, the woman repeated her threat that the senator would “pay for this.”

The debate over hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin has stirred up passion nationwide, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned patients against using the drugs for the purpose of fighting COVID.

“For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical [on the skin] formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea,” according to the FDA. “The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.”

Certain animal formulations of ivermectin are approved to treat or prevent parasites in animals, the FDA said, noting that it “has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.”

As it relates to hydroxychloroquine, the FDA outlined concerns about “serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure.”

The debate over the unapproved COVID drugs was the second instance last week of a pandemic-related debate getting out of hand in Virginia.

A mother in Page County was arrested and charged with making threats after telling the county’s school board that she would “bring every single gun loaded and ready” to fight mask requirements for her children. She later apologized and claimed she was not referring to “actual firearms.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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