Chicago woman at the center of ivermectin firestorm dies

Chicago, Illinois - Veronica Wolski, a QAnon adherent whose recent hospitalization made her a cause celebre for the controversial medication ivermectin, died in the intensive care unit of Chicago's AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center early on Monday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Veronica Wolski, the QAnon adherent whose recent hospitalization made her a cause for the controversial medication ivermectin, died in the intensive care unit of AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center early Monday.
Veronica Wolski, the QAnon adherent whose recent hospitalization made her a cause for the controversial medication ivermectin, died in the intensive care unit of AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center early Monday.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Wolski’s social media followers said she was being treated for Covid-19, but the hospital, citing federal privacy laws, has declined to comment on her diagnosis.

The Cook County medical examiner did not list a cause of death. She was 64.

For more than a week, her supporters had besieged Resurrection with demands that Wolski be given ivermectin. The medication is typically used to treat diseases caused by parasitic worms, but has been hailed as a Covid cure by some, despite a lack of definitive scientific proof or government authorization.

The hospital said last week that its doctors and clinicians, following the guidance of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, do not use ivermectin for Covid-19 cases.

Over the weekend, some of Wolski’s supporters tried to get the hospital to discharge her.

A video posted on Sunday night to the Telegram channel of right-wing attorney Lin Wood shows him demanding by phone that the hospital release Wolski to a person holding her medical power of attorney.

"There’s an ambulance waiting for her outside, there’s a medical doctor waiting for her to treat her," he said. "If you do not release her, you’re going to be guilty of murder. Do you understand what murder is?"

Another video posted on Wood’s channel shows a Chicago police officer outside the hospital speaking with a person demanding, unsuccessfully, to be allowed inside to perform a wellness check.

A hospital spokesperson said police "[assisted] in maintaining the order outside the hospital with a small group of individuals." Several witnesses said the hospital had received bomb threats on Sunday in protest of Wolski's care.

Wolski was well-known for her political activism. She gained attention in 2016 by standing on a pedestrian bridge over the Kennedy Expressway with banners showing support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but then switched her allegiance to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Her Telegram channel includes numerous unfounded posts showing a disdain for masking, vaccines, and other mainstream approaches to safely avoid contracting Covid-19.

A separate Telegram channel devoted to her health struggles overflowed on Monday with hundreds of messages of mourning and anger.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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