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(LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) “explicitly recognizes that doctors do have the authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID,” an attorney for the federal government affirmed this week in a notable retreat from the government’s hostility to the drug.

The Epoch Times reports that the statement from U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney Ashley Cheung Honold came during the course of oral arguments before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a lawsuit brought by three doctors, Paul Marik, Mary Bowden, and Robert Apter, against the government for allegedly interfering with their ability to prescribe ivermectin to COVID-19 patients.

The FDA has publicly urged Americans not to take ivermectin for COVID, in the process emphasizing the drug’s less common use to treat horses to frame its decades of far more common, hundreds of millions of pills prescribed human use as a bizarre and dangerous practice. In fact, ivermectin has long been approved by the FDA for a variety of human ailments and is included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’S) Model List of Essential Medicines. Like many medications, it has both human and animal applications, but human dosages for human ailments were not controversial until ivermectin started gaining notice in the context of COVID.

The doctors contend that the agency’s presentation of treating COVID with ivermectin as medically irresponsible has harmed them professionally. Marik and Bowden were both suspended by the hospitals where they practice, and Bowden was subject to investigation by the Washington Medical Commission and Arizona Medical Board. Marik was investigated by the Virginia Board of Medicine, as well.

“The fundamental issue in this case is straightforward,” argued the doctors’ attorney Jared Kelson. “After the FDA approves the human drug for sale, does it then have the authority to interfere with how that drug is used within the doctor-patient relationship? The answer is no.”

Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod pressed Honold on why public statements such as “stop it” do not rise to the level of a “command,” to which the DOJ attorney claimed the FDA “was simply using these words in the context of a quippy tweet meant to share its informational article,” and that they “don’t prohibit doctors from prescribing ivermectin to treat COVID or for any other purpose.”

While some experts continue to debate the effectiveness of ivermectin for treating COVID, and some studies have indicated it was allegedly not effective, a now large body of accumulated studies has found it to be irrefutably highly effective for treating Covid when given early and with the correct protocol. Positive anecdotal accounts have generated large interest in the Nobel prize-winning medication that has one of the highest safety levels of any medication ever developed. It has been used and studied for far longer than the COVID vaccines.  They were developed and released in record time by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, meaning that the established drugs’ safety profiles are far better understood than those of the relatively new vaccines, which were rushed and politicized.

A large factor in this controversy has been that the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that allowed for dispensing of the experimental Covid jabs has been dependent on there allegedly being no effective alternative medication for treating Covid. Thus, as Marik and many other physicians who have successfully been treating Covid patients have charged, most Covid deaths could have been prevented had Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, and other effective protocols not been suppressed to allow the EUAs to stay in place for the jabs.

READ: New peer-reviewed study finds risk of serious side effects to mRNA COVID vaccines

Despite the wealth of existing knowledge about the drugs (as opposed to the evolving nature of COVID conventional wisdom), families across the country have had to go to court to force hospitals to let them try the medications for their loved ones, while doctors have seen their medical licenses threatened and they have been removed from their medical positions for prescribing the exceptionally safe medication.