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Dr. Syed Haider: How the Mind Can Fuel Disease, and the Incredible Ivermectin

“People were coming to me and they were, like, begging me, ‘You got to help me. There’s no one else I can find in my state who’s licensed who’s willing to give me ivermectin.’”

Since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Syed Haider has prescribed ivermectin to tens of thousands of patients, in many cases offering his services for free. Today, his functional medicine practice primarily focuses on treating long COVID and COVID vaccine injury.

“Functional medicine is basically … medicine on steroids. It’s like medicine the way it really should be practiced, and it’s the opposite of … Fauci medicine,” says Haider.

Haider is passionate about helping people change their lifestyle habits and tap into their subconscious mind. He argues that your mindset and what you believe can have a profound impact on your health.

“First, do no harm. Really, the only way you can truly practice that is by doing lifestyle medicine first. It has to be lifestyle first. There is no harm from eating better and getting some more sun and sleeping properly and exercising,” says Haider. “Obviously, you can overdo it, you can hurt yourself, but within the limits of what is normal and natural, it’s not harmful to be in a natural, normal, healthy environment, right? That is, by definition, good for you. So, it’s a matter of figuring out what that normal is and not exceeding those bounds.”


Watch the full interview:



Jan Jekielek: Dr. Syed Haider, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Dr. Syed Haider: Thanks for having me.

Mr. Jekielek: You’re one of the minds and practitioners behind, where you treat lots of people in a number of areas, but notably around Covid-19. I want to start with that. Please tell me about that practice.

Dr. Haider: Sure. I started it probably at the end of 2020, right after Pierre Kory’s Senate hearing went viral. Before that, I had been doing telemedicine through the biggest telemedicine company in the United States. I was an independent contractor working with them. I was trying to get people to try ivermectin and having no success.

After Pierre Kory’s Senate hearing went viral, people started searching for doctors online. I discovered that I could get patients and actually start treating them, the people who were interested in being treated with something effective for Covid-19. The way a normal doctor’s visit goes in person, they sit there and you ask them questions and there’s this back and forth and it takes 20 to 30 minutes. Online, what you can do is have them fill out a form and get all the same questions answered. You can essentially screen them with a protocol and make sure that the medication is safe. If it’s safe, then you prescribe it.

That is really easy and fast to do, especially for prevention, and they’re not actually sick. I figured out a way, kind of this assembly line where I could get a really large throughput. People were coming to me and begging me, “You have to help me. There’s no one else I can find in my state who’s licensed and who’s willing to give me ivermectin.” This was very early on. Nowadays there are many people who are willing to prescribe ivermectin, but at that point there were few things where the stars aligned. One of them was that there was this sudden huge demand, and there were not very many people doing it. I ended up having 45 licenses because they made it easier to get licensed across borders in different states. Usually it’s a six to nine month process to get a new license.

I started the pandemic with probably three or four licenses and ended it with about 45. It was very fast getting there. We were allowed to prescribe across straight state lines. Then, I figured out this way to streamline it, make it really quick, use technology tools, as well as human tools with people helping me. I wasn’t doing a lot of the paperwork myself. I outsourced all the tasks that could be outsourced, almost everything. This is not something new. This has been done for decades, it just hasn’t been done at this scale.

Before the pandemic, it was starting to be used for hair loss, acne, and things like that. They were simple things where you can create a protocol that applies to a lot of people and you just screen out the people who don’t really fit into the protocol. Then, you have to call them directly and maybe ask them some other questions that you haven’t figured out how to get an AI system to ask already. But I was able to figure this out. That’s the reason that I was able to prescribe probably 55,000 prescriptions to people in the last couple of years.

At the same time, I started seeing people who were actually sick. I’ve seen probably 8,000 to 9,000 actually sick people. Those were acute patients who were acutely sick with Covid. Lately, in the last year-and-a-half, long Covid and vaccine injuries have made up probably most of my practice. Every month, the in-person patients that I actually talk to, those are patients with long Covid and vaccine injuries.

I still prescribe a lot of these other prescriptions where they say, “I just want to have something in case I get sick.” Again, those are easier prescriptions to do because the person is not actually sick. I don’t have to actually talk to them. That’s how I was able to prescribe as many prescriptions as I did and see as many people as I did, because I had a lot of help.

Mr. Jekielek: In two-and-a-half years, you’ve done more than 65,000.

Dr. Haider: The 55,000 includes 8,000 acute, and a couple of thousand long Covid and vaccine injuries.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s quite a few patients.

Dr. Haider: There’s a doctor in India, I’m forgetting his name right now, but he’s probably seen 20 to 30,000. But yes, I haven’t heard of anyone treating quite that many, or prescribing that many. Other people were also using this asynchronous model, but for whatever reason, they didn’t reach the scale I did. MyFreeDoctor probably has seen like 300,000 or more, but they had probably 300 doctors doing that, or even more than that. They might have had thousands.

The difference with my practice was that it was just me. What I found with some of these other practices, and I don’t want to name names, but with some of them, it was like a surgeon on his off hours that was helping out. Some of them weren’t really specialized in this. This was all I was doing. I sat there and I went through this research and I figured out how we actually needed to do this and what actually worked.

People would come from other practices and they would say, “I got prescribed a single dose of ivermectin,” because somebody who wasn’t really familiar with ivermectin prescribing just looked up how it is usually prescribed? How do you prescribe it for scabies, for example? You give it once, and two weeks later you give it again. That’s not going to work for Covid.

I did get some patients coming to me who had been incompletely treated or not given enough. That got especially acute once I started seeing long Covid and vaccine injuries. If you just take a single dose, it’s not going to do anything. You need to take double doses, triple doses sometimes, and you might need to take it for two weeks, four weeks, or six weeks.

I became very specialized in this area. This was all I was doing, and I started very early. That was another thing that helped. Very early on there was a website called Exstnc, E-X-S-T-N-C, This guy just spun up this website. It was a place where you could go and find doctors willing to prescribe ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine in your state. I stuck my name in there. Once the FLCCC [Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance] got started, I gave them my name.

There were a few of these websites where people would go to look for somebody willing to prescribe it. That’s essentially all I did, was just put my name up on three websites. Probably what made the difference was I started very early and I was in most of the states very, very soon, so people came to me.

There was one thing that I did differently than most telemedicine practices, where you go there and you have to pay them something in order to communicate with them. You have to pay 50 bucks, or 100 bucks to even ask a question. A quirk of our software, and it ended up being quite helpful for people, was that you could register for free and you could ask questions for free. There was no way to charge people for questions. I said, “Okay, we’ll just answer all the questions for free.” Later we took it a step further and we said, “If you can’t afford it, just let us know and we’ll waive the fee as well.”

I actually did this on purpose. I started MyFreeDoctor saying we’re just going to treat everyone for free. If you can afford it, give us a donation if you’d like. This was working fine, but I started realizing that people don’t really value what they get for free. I learned this from a Sufi master that I met once in the Middle East.

When I saw him, he had a book that he wanted to give to somebody and he asked them, “Do you have any money? Do you have any pocket change?” The guy’s digging in his pocket and says, “I have 15 cents.” He says, “Okay, give me the 15 cents. Here’s the book.”

He explained why he did that, not that he needed 15 cents, but it’s this quirk of human nature that if you get something for free, you forget about it, you lose it, you never use it, and you never look at it. You assign no value to it. We tell people that this service is valuable and it costs us this much, but if you can’t pay that, let us know and you can pay less. Tell us how much you can afford, or you can just pay nothing.

This allowed me to probably prescribe 3 to 5 percent of every month. All my prescriptions are these pro bono prescriptions where I don’t charge, but people do what I say. They don’t get my prescription. I have a big complicated protocol and I have a two-hour video for people with long Covid and vaccine injuries. Here, watch this before you talk to me.

Most people end up watching it. Most people value the service that I’m giving and they see me as somebody who has helped people and I know what I’m doing. That’s the reason that we purposely decided to do it that way, still understanding that there are some people who really can’t afford it, which is perfectly fine.

Mr. Jekielek: Some people might say, “How can you really give someone the care they need if you’re not really seeing them and digging into it?” You hear these stories about these doctors that get someone in the office and there’s a timer and five minutes later they’re out. It doesn’t sound very professional. How does this work?

Dr. Haider: That’s a drawback of telemedicine, in general. It feels impersonal from my end. It feels impersonal from their end. We try to bridge that gap as best as we can, but it’s not going to be perfect. What is perfect is to have that personal sit down. I can touch you, I can hold your shoulder, and I can look in your eyes. There’s pheromones, there’s bioelectrical fields, and there’s all this interaction. It’s really incredible. We don’t even understand it.

I was just reading a book the other day about the bioenergy of human beings. There’s actually a near instantaneous communication when people are talking. You’ll see them mirror each other instantaneously. There’s no lag time when one person’s talking, the other person’s reacting. These are not nerve signals. This is the actual bioelectrical fields interacting with each other at light speed.

Obviously, you can’t do that through telemedicine. We met somebody outside who was one of my patients. I didn’t recognize this guy. I had never seen him in my life, and yet he was thanking me profusely and telling me he had told everyone about me. Why is that? It’s because the one thing people tell me over and over again is that my staff is amazing.

People will call my office and they’ll talk to somebody. Somebody will help them. Oftentimes it’s older people who need help filling out the form. It may take them an hour, or an hour-and-a-half. It’s technology. You’re 85 years old and you’re trying to fill out a form on a computer.

We have a phone number that people can call. We’ll try to have one person be your patient coordinator that always interacts with you. People have this human touch. Even when you’re getting the asynchronous prescription, somebody will call you once the prescription is done and walk through the thing and make sure you understand it. It’s a complicated protocol. We’re going to tell you, “Okay, somebody’s going to actually touch base with you and talk to you.” But you’re right, 50,000 people did not talk to me directly. We did our best.

Mr. Jekielek: Yes, but were you going for volume at the outset?

Dr. Haider: I was not aiming for volume, no. I was just trying to help people. Before this started, I would work five hours a day or something. It was like I’m going to work and then I’ll be done. I’ll turn it off and I’ll go to bed and I’ll enjoy my family and I’ll travel the world. I was a really laid back kind of doctor.

Before the pandemic, I would go and work for a couple of weeks in a hospital and then take off for a couple of weeks. Like I told you before the interview, I started doing this kind of free community and initiative in the Middle East where I was just helping people who couldn’t afford really anything to change their lifestyle and actually get rid of all their medications. This was just something I was doing in my off time.

I started off with this laid back style, but then there was a tsunami of people who were knocking down my door in the beginning. I had to develop this system, otherwise there would be nothing I could do. Like I told you, people would come to me from North Dakota and tell me, “There’s no one. I can’t find anyone else on all these websites that list people. I called my doctor, and I went to urgent care.

The urgent care doctor gave me your phone number and said, “Call this guy. There’s no one else who can do it. You have to do it.” In the beginning I was working 18 to 20 hours a day. It was insane, and I was not sleeping. I was working nonstop, constantly. It built up really quickly over six to eight weeks.

Eventually I was just pulling my hair out and I wasn’t getting any sleep. Finally I hired somebody to help me. She was the office manager in the beginning. She just created all these systems and developed this software and developed these protocols that would help me do my job and make it easier. Then I hired medical assistants. It just built up to this rather large staff actually. I tell people how many people work for me and they’re shocked. I hesitate to actually say it.

There’s so many that I need, because there’s no AI that’s developed for this system. You could probably create a software that would do most of what these human beings are doing, but it just doesn’t currently exist. I didn’t have time to make it or the funds to make it, so there’s just a lot of people. There’s people who help people do the intake, there’s people who call them afterwards, and there’s people who help me send my prescriptions to the pharmacy. There is all this support staff involved.

Later on, we added health coaches because it’s hard to do lifestyle changes. Lifestyle change is really the thing I’m most passionate about because it is the real missing link. That is why we’re so sick. It’s because the environment is wrong.

You’re the frog being boiled in water really slowly over the last 50 years and you don’t realize that you’re in a boiling pot of water until you’re dead. That’s where we are as a society. You can fix that. Jan, you’re an evolutionary biologist. If you look at things from an evolutionary lens, what kind of environment did we evolve in? It must be the one that’s optimal for us.

It’s not really that hard. You can do studies and confirm things; grounding works, cold exposure works, sunlight works, fasting works, and sleeping works. You can dig into the biochemistry and understand why all those things work and prove they work. But I would say you don’t really have to prove it. Evolution proves it for you. We evolved in a certain environment and if you put yourself back in that environment, you will be healthy.

Mr. Jekielek: There are many fascinating things you’ve just said, lifestyle being the critical element. That is a big part of your whole vision of medicine. Before we go into that, tell me about where you come from. How did you end up in the Middle East doing this work? How did you become a doctor?

Dr. Haider: Both my parents are actually engineers. Initially, as an 18-year-old kid, I was looking at the world around me with the internet boom. I said, “You know what? I just want to make money. I’m just going to go do electrical engineering and computer engineering and go work for Yahoo or something.” But my heart was just not in it. I just crashed and burned after a few months, and then I was floundering.

My dad was worried about me. He said, “What can I do to help you out? Why don’t you go backpacking in Chile for a month or two?” I was really excited about this. I was training to go backpacking in Chile for six months and I sprained my ankle while I was jogging. I sprained my ankle really bad, so I couldn’t go.

The next idea was, “Why don’t you go to the Maldives or something and just hang out on a beach?” Eventually he said, “You used to be interested in medicine. Why don’t you apply to medical school in Pakistan?” That’s where my father is from. I had basically dropped out of college after trying to do electrical engineering.

After a couple years I just dropped out. I actually went to the University of Florida on a scholarship. I was one of the best students in my high school; great SAT scores, a really smart kid, on a full scholarship to University of Florida. I dropped out after a couple of years because I just couldn’t find anything I wanted to do.

There was a roadblock. I was always interested in medicine in high school. Yet, I was looking into the future saying, “It’s going to take four years of college, four years of med school, and four years of residency. This is a decade-plus of my life to become a doctor. I just can’t do that. I don’t have the wherewithal to get through all of that. I don’t have the patience for it.” Then, my dad kind of hacked my mind.

First of all, he figured out that you didn’t need pre-med to do med school overseas. They work in the British system in the Middle East, where you can just do med school right out of high school. They make the course longer. It’s five years, instead of four years, because they include pre-med in the course itself. He said, “Okay, you can go to Pakistan. My sister is a teacher in a med school in Pakistan.” I applied, I got in, and I went over there. Literally, from the first month, I just loved it. I said, “Oh my God, this is great. I love all these courses.”

These were baby steps of just doing the first thing. Do the thing right now that actually applies to really everything. What stops people from doing everything they know they should do? It’s because it seems so overwhelming.

I have to eat differently and I have to sleep differently. I have to exercise more. I have to get more sunlight. I have to have good social relationships. I have to have intimacy in my life. I have to stop drinking, I have to stop smoking. It’s overwhelming. Who can do all that?

This is what I teach people in my practice and also in the lifestyle component of my practice. We have this coaching program, which is to just do one thing, something that’s really, really easy. It’s really important to make it super easy, something that you can do for the next 60 days or even 60 years. Whatever that is, it should be something that speaks to you.

This reminds me of my own story. I actually was under so much stress, and not sleeping well for a couple of years. I stopped exercising, I stopped walking, and I stopped going outside. I gained 50 pounds, which I’ve lost. I don’t have those 50 pounds anymore.

That was way too big for me. The first thing I did was to just imagine myself weighing 50 pounds less. That was the one thing I changed, was just visualizing myself and feeling grateful for it. That’s the only thing I did for a couple of weeks.

Everything else just followed on from that naturally. I just started doing other things when it seemed natural to do them, and they were effortless to do. There was no effort involved with changing the way I ate or deciding to walk in the morning or starting to do cold plunges.

At this point, I do a lot of stuff. I sleep a lot better. I get sun in the morning. I wear blue block or sunglasses at night. I do all these things. I do a hundred things, but if I tried to do them in the very beginning, it would’ve fallen apart.

Mr. Jekielek: You became a medical doctor in Pakistan, and you came back to the U.S. You took your board exams, but you became a functional medicine practitioner somewhere along the way. One, can you tell us what that is? Two, I want to get back to that side work that you are doing around lifestyle in the Middle East.

Dr. Haider: I did my residency at Newark Methodist in Brooklyn for three years in internal medicine. Then, I started doing hospital medicine. Initially, it was quite rewarding for a few years. But with hospital medicine, you are just treating people in the hospital. They come into the hospital, you treat them, you send them home to their PCP [Primary Care Practitioner] to take care of the rest of their problems. You don’t follow up with them. You don’t see them throughout the entire course of their life. You’re just there with them while they’re really, really sick.

A case would come to me and I would do a lot of research on it. I came across vitamin D very early in probably the first year that I was working. I happened to be in a small town somewhere in Georgia, maybe South Carolina. It was primarily a black community. Every single person I checked had low vitamin D, and probably a quarter of them had undetectable vitamin D.

Every single black patient in this hospital that I was seeing had low vitamin D. This was over the course of months. I had been seeing 20 patients a day for months. This was shocking to me. I said, “What are we doing as a society?” Vitamin D is probably why these people are sick in the first place.

Mr. Jekielek: Or the lack of it.

Dr. Haider: The lack of it, exactly. It’s such a simple intervention. A lot of your viewers know that it’s quite important for Covid-19 as well. It’s quite important for a lot of things, but it’s just a secondary marker for sunlight. Sunlight actually is the thing that’s missing from people’s lives. It’s not vitamin D, it’s the sun. The sun has far more going on than just vitamin D. It’s got infrared, and it’s got a lot of other things.

I started becoming interested in this functional medicine, as you said. Functional medicine is basically what medicine should be. If people are familiar with House, that TV show, that’s what he does. He gets to the bottom of things and figures out what’s the root cause and says, “Let’s fix it.” It’s like medicine and steroids. It’s like medicine the way it really should be practiced.

It’s the opposite of Fauci medicine, the NIH version of medicine, where it’s like, “Does it make $1 million, or $10 billion? If it does, then we’ll prescribe it, and we’ll recommend it.” Functional medicine is the stuff that actually works. Still, you have to go a step beyond functional medicine to be truly healthy. Most functional medicine physicians stop at the point of figuring out what’s wrong with the patient, and then just correcting that biochemical abnormality or the chronic infection that’s leading to their illness.

The failing of that is that it’s not really digging into what are the subconscious drivers of a lot of the disease. People are familiar with placebo effects. Nocebo is the opposite of placebo. Placebo is when you take a sugar pill and you feel better. Nocebo is when someone says the wrong thing to you.

They implant this suggestion in your mind, perhaps a doctor oftentimes will tell you something that actually creates illness. They suggest to you that maybe you’ll get this side effect, and then you do. Or maybe this other thing will happen to you. Maybe you’ll die in six months, and you only have six months to live. Oftentimes, we’ll see people die six months later on the dot. The mind is quite powerful. My presentation at this conference goes into some of this. It’s shocking stuff, and it blew my mind. There’s actually a lot of really good data that the mind is far more powerful than we imagine. It’s the subconscious mind, it’s not your conscious mind. It can create disease with the recipe that’s available to it.

For example, you have spike protein in your body. Maybe you don’t eat well, maybe you smoke, maybe your liver’s a little bit shot. You have all these little ingredients floating around, but you’re not sick. Then, suddenly you get sick. You ask people, why now? Why are you sick? What you’ll find is that usually they’ll think of something.

There’s a great book on this. Steve Bierman goes into this a little bit, and a number of people have written about it, but essentially, you’ll find that oftentimes there’s a secondary gain involved with the illness. If you dig deep enough that there’s a reason. The sickness is there to do something beneficial for you, even though it feels really bad. At your surface level you don’t want it, and you think you don’t want it, but deep down there’s some reason for it. Most people don’t address that level of the human being.

Mr. Jekielek: Most people aren’t going to accept what you just said.

Dr. Haider: It takes some time to convince people. It takes a couple of hours. You need to sit with the person, go through the data, go through the research, and lead them along this path, which we obviously don’t have time for. I’m not saying the mind is entirely creating the disease. Why were you not sick before and you’re sick now? Why does your knee hurt sometimes and other days it doesn’t hurt? Why does your pinched nerve act up some days and some days it doesn’t? Obviously there’s something else going on.

People will tell you, “You’ve got a pinched nerve. You’ve got a slipped disc, you have this and that,” and yet, for months you have no problem. And then suddenly, you have a problem. You say, “Oh yes, I bent over or something,” but it’s also a moving day. It’s also that your mom just died, or there’s something else, or there’s some stress going on.

Anyway, I point out to people that it doesn’t quite add up. It’s not just a slipped disc. There’s something else. It’s not just bone on bone in your knee, because why were you perfectly fine for the last three weeks while you were on vacation and now suddenly it’s crippling pain and you can’t even walk? You can look at the x-ray and see, “Yes, there’s bone on bone,” but then it doesn’t hurt every day. Why doesn’t it? The point is that you could give them a bunch of supplements and fix that appearance on the x-ray, and maybe it becomes harder to manifest that illness.

Your subconscious says, “We were using that to get some secondary gain.” Maybe we were on disability because we were sick and couldn’t work. But now, we can’t use that anymore because you’ve started piling on all these medications and supplements and that problem is gone now. The recipe, the ingredients that were there for me to allow that disease to manifest are now gone, so I have to find something else.

What you’ll find is you’ll fix a problem for somebody with functional medicine. You’ll get to the physical underlying cause of that problem, but you don’t address the mental cause, the subconscious cause, the subconscious reasons for it and it pops up somewhere else. It’s whack-a-mole. This happens all the time. You fix one thing and something else pops up. You fix that and then something else pops up. There’s this pressure in the system and it’s going to be released somewhere. You have to fix the pressure. You have to go to the real source.

Lifestyle is very important, but like one of the studies I’m going to show during my presentation, there is even a placebo effect with exercise. They took a group of hotel cleaners and they split them up into two groups. One group, they just told them simply that the work you do every day already qualifies as a lot of exercise. You’re burning this many calories. You meet the surgeon general’s recommendations for daily exercise. The other group, they just tell them about exercise without pointing that out to them.

After a month, the group that they told you’re actually exercising, they do nothing differently. They don’t eat differently, they don’t go to the gym, they don’t work more. Nothing is different, and yet, they lose two pounds. By doing nothing differently, their blood pressure drops 10 points by just being told something.

They realized that what they were doing was healthy, “I’m healthier than I thought I was.” There’s a lot of these documented studies showing that it’s what you believe. It’s not just the superficial level. It’s at a subconscious level what you deeply believe has a profound impact on your health.

This piece is missing from all medicine that I know of, but even from most functional medicine, they’re not addressing this piece. It’s something that is difficult to address, and that’s why it’s not addressed. As I mentioned earlier, Steve Bierman wrote a book about this, Healing Beyond Pills & Potions. He’s a master NLP practitioner, which is neuro-linguistic programming.

He points out that he can easily teach people how to give painless injections, and do painless sutures on patients without giving them anesthetics. He has even delivered babies without anesthesia. All he does is say things to the person in a certain way. They’re such simple words that he has taught other people after an hour how to give a painless injection to a five-year-old child, and how to suture somebody without any anesthetic.

He was famous for a while, and he went on CBS. He could give these verbal suggestions to people and slow down their heart rate, or stop their bleeding. Somebody comes in with a big gash on their hand and they’re gushing blood. He’ll just say a few choice words and the bleeding stops. The person stopped their own bleeding. They don’t know how they did it, but they did.

You can talk to the subconscious mind if you know how to do it, and if you’ve been trained properly. You can learn how to do that, and there are people who know how to do it and they can help people address that subconscious desire.

Mr. Jekielek: Is this part of your practice?