Twitter Allows Fake ‘Horse Dewormer’ Overdose Story to Spread
It all started when Rolling Stone published an article with the headline: “Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says.”
“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. Jason McElyea said.
“All of their ambulances are stuck at the hospital waiting for a bed to open so they can take the patient in and they don’t have any, that’s it,” McElyea said. “If there’s no ambulance to take the call, there’s no ambulance to come to the call.”
“The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” he added.
The story was picked up by The Independent, The Guardian, and The Insider.
The story, however, is completely false.
Dr. McElyea was only a subcontractor for the hospital, and he had not worked at the hospital for over two months.
Rolling Stone left the story up, but issued an embarrassing update that rendered nearly every part of the story false:
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.”
Twitter users were not impressed with the backtrack.
“From Rolling Stone, to Maddow & no one thought to verify this guy’s story,” Stephen Miller, creator and host of Vs Media Podcast, tweeted. They published it and put it on tv and no one checked it. Purposeful malfeasance, and no one will lose a job over it.”
The photograph was also misused, from a vaccine clinic in January.
“The photograph Rolling Stone used for their false ivermectin ER story is from January, via the AP and was for a vaccine drive for African Americans by a church,” Miller tweeted, referencing a tweet from user FuzzyTaylor235.
Interestingly, it appears that McElyea is actually suing the last hospital he worked at for revoking his privilege to practice medicine there.
“You’ll be shocked to learn McElyea is suing the last hospital system he worked at for revoking his medical staff membership and clinical privileges,” Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and The Community to Unleash Prosperity, tweeted.