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Many mainstream media figures and outlets appear to have been fooled by a false story that some Oklahoma hospitals were overwhelmed with patients having overdosed on the drug Ivermectin.
The parasite-fighting medication can also be sold over the counter as a veterinary drug, and Oklahoma’s KFOR-TV news first published a story quoting testimony from Dr. Jason McElyea claiming that hospitals in a rural part of Oklahoma were being overrun with patients overdosing on the drug causing gunshot victims to have to wait to be treated.
Rolling Stone cited Oklahoma’s News 4, and ran with it.
“The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated,” McElyea said.
Fox News reports it was later deemed false after the Northeastern Hospital System denied any patients were treated for overdoses from the drug and that McElyea hadn’t actually worked at one of the hospitals in question for two months.
But journalist Drew Holden kept the receipts and pointed to liberal media figures like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and podcast host Brian Tyler Cohen, and many others as those spreading the misinformation, and questioned why they didn’t look further into the story.
He also called out a number of media outlets for spreading the misinformation, including Business Insider, The Guardian, and the Daily Mail.
“I just really don’t understand why seemingly real news outlets … didn’t bother to even look into this story before they pushed this narrative?” Holden wrote. “Didn’t it sound odd? Wasn’t it worth investigating? Maybe a single phone call?”
Corrections to the story have yet to be made by some of the outlets and individuals, however, Rolling Stone issued an “update” over the weekend, noting the hospital system’s denial of the story, Fox News reports.
The FDA and CDC have warned against the use of Ivermectin to treat the coronavirus, issuing a statement cautioning it is not an approved drug for the treatment or prevention of the virus.