Last week, several liberal media figures, including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, promoted a viral story that claimed Oklahoma hospitals were being overrun by patients who had overdosed on ivermectin.
Yet, as Fox News noted on Monday, the story has since been debunked, and it’s led to no small amount of mockery for those behind it and the media figures who were quick to promote it as their latest fearmongering tool.
The claim first appeared in a report from KFOR, an Oklahoma-based media outlet. The piece quoted Dr. Jason McElyea as claiming that Oklahoma emergency rooms were forced to turn away patients with life-threatening injuries, like gunshot wounds, due to the prevalence of ivermectin overdoses overwhelming the ERs.
“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.
What is ivermectin?
Ivermectin, a medication that is prescribed to treat people suffering from parasites, is also sold in larger doses to treat livestock as a popular de-wormer medication as well.
Some individuals in the medical community have touted ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19, with podcaster Joe Rogan announcing that he obtained a prescription for the drug, and sparked a firestorm of controversy as a result.
However, there have been cases of people ingesting ivermectin intended for animals, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that doing so is an extremely dangerous practice, even tweeting warnings for people not to use the drug as it hasn’t been approved to treat COVID-19 illnesses.
However, Rolling Stone was later forced to publish a correction acknowledging that the Oklahoma hospital McElyea is contracted to work at is absolutely not experiencing an influx of people suffering from ivermectin overdoses.
Hospital denies story
“One hospital has denied Dr. Jason McElyea’s 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,” the correction update read.
What’s more, McElyea has since told Tulsa’s News On 6 that he was misquoted in the original story.
In turn, journalist Drew Holden called out Maddow in a series of tweets, one of which read: “She’s got an audience of millions of people and couldn’t be bothered to even look into a story that pretty obviously doesn’t pass the sniff test.”