Ivermectin-Promoting Group Benefits from Amazon Smile Program
Dr. Pierre Kory, co-founder of the FLCCC, testifies at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution, Part II, in the Dirksen Building on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. At the time of his testimony, Kory was an associate professor of medicine at St. Luke’s Aurora Medical Center in Milwaukee.
Once again, Amazon is allowing its customers to donate part of the cost of their purchases to a dodgy organization; this time it’s the fake ivermectin-promoting medical group Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). The FLCCC is the main promoter of the use of ivermectin for preventive, therapeutic or curative purposes against COVID. All available evidence suggests that ivermectin does not work as a COVID treatment and that its use in this setting has resulted in serious property damage and even death.
AmazonSmile is a charity program that allows shoppers to choose an organization and ask Amazon to donate 0.5% of their purchase price; donations come from the AmazonSmile Foundation, which means they are tax-deductible by Amazon, not the buyer. A cynic would suggest this is a convenient way for Amazon to get extra tax deductions and, of course, donate money to charity, but it also comes with significant PR downsides. .
According to the company, more than a million charities are supported by AmazonSmile, a number almost impossible to track or control, and some of which proved extremely embarrassing when exposed. Previously, AmazonSmile was used to fund the Oathkeepers, an extremist group, which was taken down following public outcry and pressure from activist group Sleeping Giants. AmazonSmile also allows users to donate to a host of anti-vaccine organizations, which Amazon has refused to remove from the program. A company spokesperson told the Washington Post in December 2021, “We respect that our customers have a wide variety of views on this issue, which is why the charities in question continue to be included in the list of organizations from which customers can choose in the framework of AmazonSmile.”
In its latest newsletter, the FLCCC touted its inclusion in the AmazonSmile program, as well as a more general plea for money amid what they called “intensified digital throttling.” (Many of the FLCCC founders and members are active and unbanned on Twitter, the group has an Instagram account with over 44,000 followers, and in general they show very few signs of being particularly strangled. The group says it is concerned by being censored on YouTube and moving to Vimeo accordingly.)
The FLCCCs are an active part of the program as of today; they describe themselves on AmazonSmile as “a public health program” that provides “vital protocols for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19”, which is objectively false. The FLCCC has sparked fear and mistrust of COVID vaccinations, falsely claiming in May that there was “no measurable benefit” and implying that they frequently result in vaccine injury. (Conveniently, they made this claim in a blog post announcing a new “treatment protocol” for alleged vaccine injuries; it involves ivermectin, of course, plus multiple doses of vitamin C. higher than the daily dose recommended by actual medical organizations.) In fairness, the organization also advocates basic protocols like hand washing, physical distancing, and masks, but does so alongside a massive dose of misinformation and of alarmism. (AmazonSmile’s Terms of Service prohibit organizations from engaging in what it calls “illegal, deceptive, or deceptive activities.”)
The indirect funding of an ivermectin advocacy group also appears to be a particularly sensitive issue for Amazon, which has faced criticism for years that it allows the sale on the site of false medical information and in particular misinformation about COVID-19. They took child-sized measures to counter this; When you search for ivermectin on Amazon.com, a disclaimer appears: “The FDA advises against the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19”, followed by a link to the disclaimer page. information from the FDA on the misuse of the drug. Ironically, when I searched for the drug today, the first search result was FLCCC co-founder Pierre Kory’s book about the alleged “war” on ivermectin by the sinister and all-pervasive powers that, according to him, suppress the drug.
In a statement to Motherboard, Amazon spokesperson Patrick Malone did not directly address the FLCCC’s involvement in AmazonSmile. Instead, he outlined AmazonSmile’s eligibility requirements and noted that “customer-directed donations,” as he put it, made under the program “do not constitute an endorsement by Amazon of opinions of a qualifying charity”. His statement reads, in full:
Customer-directed donations made through the AmazonSmile program do not constitute an endorsement by Amazon of the views of an eligible charity. AmazonSmile customers can choose from over one million eligible charities and nominate the charity of their choice.
All qualifying charities must be registered as 501(c)(3) organizations and not on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s lists of hate or anti-government groups. In addition, charities must also be in good standing in the states where they operate and not be on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list, which identifies organizations associated with money laundering, terrorism, and other illegal activities.