Rolling Stone magazine is in hot water for publishing fake news about an alleged rash of ivermectin overdoses that they reported were taking over the emergency rooms in Oklahoma. From Rolling Stone’s original report:
The rise in people using ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug usually reserved for deworming horses or livestock, as a treatment or preventative for Covid-19 has emergency rooms “so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting” access to health facilities, an emergency room doctor in Oklahoma said.
First, ivermectin is not just a dewormer for horses and livestock. It is actually a Nobel-Prize-winning drug that has saved the lives of many people suffering a variety of problems, from lymphatic filariasis to malaria.
William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, as well as showing efficacy against an expanding number of other parasitic diseases. Tu Youyou discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.
These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually. The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.
But most importantly, the story was totally false. The doctor Rolling Stone quoted, Dr. Jason McElyea, isn’t even working at the emergency room he claimed was overrun by nonexistent ivermectin overdoses. Rolling Stone issued an update:
UPDATE: Northeastern Hospital System Sequoyah issued a statement: 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. 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. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care. We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.”
The fake news spread everywhere with lightning speed, but instead of retracting the completely false story, the news agencies just printed an “update.” The original headline remains: “Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says.”
This makes no sense. Nothing about the story is true. There are no gunshot victims not receiving treatment and there are no ivermectin overdoses. Dr. McEylea isn’t presently working at the ER in question and it appears that none of this happened.
All the usual suspects. pic.twitter.com/YFqEnb7P5l
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) September 5, 2021
PJM editor Paula Bolyard found another egregious error in Rolling Stone’s awful reporting.
Another example of shoddy journalism in the 'Rolling Stone' ivermectin piece appears in the 4th graph with a quote from "Davis"—no first name or title. In the 'Tulsa World' article that quote is attributed to Oklahoma Hospital Association President Patti Davis. pic.twitter.com/b7mElWIOzE
— Paula Bolyard (@pbolyard) September 5, 2021
Rolling Stone wasn’t the only publication that got punked.
Rolling Stone is far from the only media outlet to write up the story after Jason McElyea made his remarks to a local Oklahoma station.
The Hill, The Guardian and BBC are some of the others to publish stories based on the doctor's claims. None have updated their pieces as of now pic.twitter.com/E7xMThtO0P
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 5, 2021
Some digging by journalist and filmmaker Billie Mintz found McElyea mentioned in an older news report that sounded eerily similar to the one that went viral. Four days before the “ivermectin overdoses” story broke, another story had quoted McElyea about gunshot patients.
Dr. Jason McElyea, a rural emergency room physician, had a gunshot victim in his facility whom for hours he was unable to transfer to a higher level of care because no one had space. One of McElyea’s colleagues had to send a severely ill COVID patient all the way to South Dakota.
“They had sat in a small hospital needing to be in an ICU for several days and that was the closest ICU that was available,” McElyea said.
PJ Media attempted to contact Dr. McElyea but the ER he was supposed to have been affiliated with said it has no way of reaching him. We were advised not to call back.
McElyea’s Google information ties him to McAlester Regional Health, but MRHC told PJM that he is no longer affiliated with the hospital. MRHC could not confirm how long ago the affiliation was terminated. He previously held the title Director of Medical Education for MRHC.
ZeroHedge dug into McElyea’s background and found this
[McElyea] is also listed as working at Integris Grove Hospital in Grove, OK as a general family practitioner – not in the ER. A phone call to them provided no insight as to any ivermectin overdoses, however the gentleman who answered the phone sounded quite amused. What’s more, Grove, OK – with a population of 7,129, had just 14 aggravated assaults in all of 2019 according to the FBI’s latest data. We somehow doubt that ‘gunshot victims were lining up outside the ER,’ while just 11 ivermectin related hospital cases have been reported in the entire state since the beginning of May.
This story will be updated with new information as it becomes available.