Samuel Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt and scandal-plagued cryptocurrency empire gave $18.25 million to early COVID-19 researchers whose findings cast doubt on the benefits of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for patients with COVID-19.
The FTX Foundation provided initial funding worth $3.25 million and followed it with another $15 million grant, according to a press release issued May 16.
“The FTX Foundation is excited to commit $15 million to funding additional trial arms in the TOGETHER Trial and its growing global network of sister trials,” said Ross Rheingans-Yoo, from the FTX Foundation.
“Our initial $3.25 million grant to expand the trial network’s core infrastructure has helped bring the model from Brazil to key sites across the globe, and we look forward to finding further opportunities to support the consortium’s growth and help prevent future pandemics,” he said.
Together Trial’s research included a study that found ivermectin’s benefits for patients suffering from COVID-19 were unclear and a study that concluded hydroxychloroquine did not show any benefit in decreasing hospitalizations. Both studies were influential amid debates over the use of conventional, inexpensive treatments as opposed to expensive mRNA injections developed by the large pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Both drugs were floated early in the pandemic as potential treatments for those suffering from the virus, but they quickly became politically polarizing when they received support from President Donald Trump and podcaster Joe Rogan. Mainstream physicians and the media raced to discredit the cheap, safe drugs that have been used for decades for a host of other diseases. Both of these studies were led by Dr. Gilmar Reis.
Here’s a link to the study on ivermectin, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2022.
Here’s a link to the Sept. 2021 study on hydroxychloroquine.
The “Together Trial” research sponsored by FTX Foundation also study metformin and fluvoxamine. Under trial sponsors, the website list FTX, and FTX is the only sponsor listed on the organizations homepage.
A YouTube video posted by Trial Together has some of the same hallmarks as FTX and the now-defunct partner firm, Alameda Research. Namely, the claim that the group is using novel methods and complicated computer science to produce results that might not be available to ordinary researchers.
Here are the profile pictures for the organizations investigators: