OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Rolling Stone has posted an Update to a story they put out on Friday that originally claimed patients with serious ailments were being turned away from hospitals in rural Oklahoma due to the overwhelming number of overdoses of the drug ivermectin; a claim that was revealed to be completely false.
The original article, which is still available to read on Rolling Stone’s site, quoted Dr. Jason McElyea, who had told local Oklahoma media that so many patients were overdosing on ivermectin – a drug used to treat heartworm in animals that some tout as a COVID-19 treatment, despite warnings to the contrary by the Food and Drug Administration – that people with gunshot wounds were going completely untreated due to a lack of resources.
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“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,” Dr. McElyea said.
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However, the story was quickly proven to be false when the Northeastern Hospital System – for whom Dr. McElyea works – issued a statement clarifying his role in the organization and denying that they have treated any patients whatsoever for any complications related to the ingestion of ivermectin.
“Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room,” the statement said. “With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose.”
Rolling Stone was subsequently forced to post a retraction on the article on Sunday where they admitted that they did not check into any aspects of Dr. McElyea’s story before running it, stating that his “claim that ivermectin overdoses are causing emergency room backlogs and delays in medical care in rural Oklahoma, and Rolling Stone has been unable to independently verify any such cases as of the time of this update.”
Rolling Stone in particular has a history of failing to fact-check some of their articles, including an infamous 2014 piece on an alleged gang rape that took place at a campus fraternity at the University of Virginia that was later proven to be a complete hoax, disgracing the publication and making them the subject of multiple lawsuits.
Several of the news publications have not even bother updating their false story with a correction.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised the public that it has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans, saying that it does not possess anti-viral properties and can be harmful if taken in large doses. In addition, the National Poison Data System reported 459 cases of ivermectin overdose in the United States in August.