Tucker Carlson pitches potential new COVID treatment to Fox News viewers: Viagra

"Is there anything [Viagra] doesn't cure?" Carlson quipped at one point

By Brett Bachman

Published January 8, 2022 2:59PM (EST)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson during a segment extolling the virtues of Viagara as a COVID-19 treatment. (Fox News/Screenshot)
Fox News host Tucker Carlson during a segment extolling the virtues of Viagara as a COVID-19 treatment. (Fox News/Screenshot)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson isn't too keen on vaccines — but did dedicate a segment of his Friday show to a potential new treatment for COVID-19: Viagra.

Yes, Pfizer's popular erectile dysfunction drug is being used in a few select medical trials to determine if it helps in treating severe COVID-19 patients, though experts are quick to note that much research still needs to be conducted before determining its effectiveness. 

Yet the controversial Fox News host was quick to sing Viagra's praises, opening the segment by declaring that it may "save us" from COVID-19. 

"Who thought Viagra would save us from the pandemic?" Carlson asked, adding: "Dr. Marc Siegel may have predicted it," introducing one of the network's top medical contributors, who listed off a series of claims about the drug's effectiveness as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension and altitude sickness, among other things.

"Is there anything [Viagra] doesn't cure?" Carlson quipped. 


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At one point, a graphic reading "Little Blue Miracle?" (referring to the name-brand pill's signature blue color) appeared alongside Carlson as he relayed the story of a COVID-positive U.K. nurse who claims she was rescued from the depths of a 28-day coma just before Christmas by a "large dose of Viagra."

The story of 37-year-old Monica Almedia was first reported this week, along with the news that scientists were attempting to use the drug — whose previous claim to fame was its penchant for reliably causing erections — to increase oxygen levels in the blood of hospitalized patients with extremely severe COVID-19.

"It was definitely the Viagra that saved me. Within 48 hours it opened up my airwaves and my lungs started to respond," the fully vaccinated nurse told U.K. outlet "The Sun," which featured her story on its front cover.

"If you think how [Viagra] works, it expands your blood vessels. I have asthma and my air sacs needed a little help."

RELATED: How anti-vaxxers weaponized Ivermectin, a horse de-wormer drug, as a COVID-19 treatment

It's not exactly a new idea — Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center, told Salon via email that Sildenafil "has been used to modulate blood flow in the lungs for decades."

But Adalja was also quick to note that it's currently an experimental treatment for use on hospitalized patients with severe COVID — not something people should be seeking out as an at-home treatment or preventative measure.

"There are studies showing that it can be used in severe COVID patients to help increase blood flow into the lungs and improve oxygenation," he said. "It's important to realize, however, that the use of sildenafil is for a subset of patients with severe COVID and not a routine treatment."

And despite Almedia's subsequent pleas that people get vaccinated and take steps to protect themselves from the virus, it was the "miracle cure" angle that took off in the right-wing press, with the New York Post, Daily Wire and others dedicating full write-ups to Viagra's promise as a COVID treatment.

Following the spate of coverage, the idea of using an erectile dysfunction drug to treat COVID-19 appeared to be gaining steam online, with the word "viagra" trending on Twitter and hundreds of posts on alternative social media sites such as TrumpWorld favorite GETTR extolling the virtue of this newfound "cure."

"The life you save may be your own," one user wrote on GETTR alongside a quote from Almedia about how Viagra saved her life. "GOT COVID? GET VIAGRA!" another declared.

"Viagra. First it cured Alzheimer's and now cures COVID," one person wrote, referencing another recent segment from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in which he explored the use of Viagra for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. "Hard to believe."

RELATED: Ted Cruz apologizes for Jan. 6 "terrorist attack" comment after enduring Tucker Carlson's wrath

It's unclear whether Viagra will take off as an alternative right-wing COVID-19 drug in the same way as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, two well-publicized but ultimately debunked treatments that shot to prominence after conservative pundits and politicians championed them as alternatives to vaccination.

In the case of ivermectin, poison control hotlines and hospitals were flooded last year with reports of people overdosing on a version of the anti-parasite drug meant for livestock, which they had acquired in a last-ditch attempt to prevent and treat themselves after refusing to be vaccinated. The series of events spurred much mockery online — a trend that was alive and well following Carlson's Viagra segment Friday night as well.

A search for "Viagra" on Twitter returned thousands of tweets making fun of the idea being pushed in some right-wing circles — including several times on Carlson's show — that Pfizer would hide thousands of deaths due to the vaccine while simultaneously hiding another drug which worked much better against the virus.

"You're all a bunch of sheep supporting BIG PHARMA! Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to the drug store to buy some Covid Viagra because Tucker Carlson told me if I don't die with a boner I'm a Cuck," Twitter user @GordMacey wrote. 

"Sure, Viagra treats COVID," user @Westfalljim5 added. "In fact, the side effects warning has been updated: 'Seek immediate medical help if you experience an INSURECTION lasting more than 4 hours.'"

Fox News did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Watch the full "Tucker Carlson Tonight" clip below:


Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Covid Treatment Covid Vaccines Covid-19 Erectile Dysfunction Fox News Furthering Tucker Carlson Viagra