Sep. 15, 2021 -- A prominent figure in the QAnon movement died in a Chicago hospital after followers demanded doctors give her ivermectin, a controversial medication that far-right media figures say is effective in treating COVID-19.
Veronica Wolski, 64, died in the intensive care unit of AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center early Monday, a hospital spokeswoman told The Chicago Tribune.
The hospital didn’t say why she died and the Cook County medical examiner didn’t list a cause of death, but Wolski’s social media followers said she was being treated for COVID-19, The Tribune said.
Last week her supporters went on social media and urged the hospital to give her ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that is used to treat river blindness and intestinal roundworm infection in humans and to de-worm pets and livestock. Lotions and creams containing ivermectin are also used to treat head lice and rosacea.
The hospital said doctors there don’t use ivermectin to treat COVID-19, in accordance with FDA and CDC guidance, The Tribune said. Mainstream medical authorities and even the manufacturer of ivermectin say it doesn’t help treat coronavirus.
Wolski was well-known in the Chicago area for her political activism, first for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and then for QAnon conspiracy theories.
Her Telegram account questioned the effectiveness of masking, vaccines, and other methods for avoiding COVID-19.
Last weekend, Wolski’s supporters became more aggressive. A video posted Sunday to the Telegram channel of Lin Wood, a right-wing lawyer, showed him on the phone and demanding the hospital release Wolski to a person holding her medical power of attorney, The Tribune said.
Another video posted on Wood’s channel shows a person outside the hospital demanding that a police officer let them in to perform a wellness check.
A hospital spokeswoman said police “(assisted) in maintaining the order outside the hospital with a small group of individuals,” The Tribune said.