Rolling Stone updated its dubious report about a surge of Ivermectin overdoses in Oklahoma but has not corrected it despite an official statement refuting the article.
Rolling Stone on Friday aggregated an interview Oklahoma physician Dr. Jason McElyea gave to KFOR claiming that a surge in Ivermectin overdoses in the state was causing emergency room delays for gunshot victims. KFOR has since taken down the interview.
“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 told KFOR. “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. If there’s no ambulance to take the call, there’s no ambulance to come to the call.”
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that can be used to treat intestinal worms in humans but there is no evidence it is effective in treating or preventing Covid. The FDA and CDC have warned physicians not to prescribe the drug for Covid infections, which has led many to turn to an animal version of the drug, which is used to deworm livestock. But the animal version is much more concentrated and several states’ poison control centers have reported a surge in Ivermectin overdoses.
But the Rolling Stone report does not appear to be true.
After the story went viral across mainstream media, the Northeastern Hospital System issued a statement refuting the doctor’s claims.
“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 hospital said in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Rolling Stone won’t correct:
The magazine published an “update” after the statement was issued but has not corrected its report.
“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 update said.
The magazine added that there have been 459 reported cases of Ivermectin overdoses in the country. Although there is no data on the number of overdoses in Oklahoma, “the count is unlikely to be a significant factor in hospital bed availability in a state that, per the CDC, currently has a 7-day average of 1,528 Covid-19 hospitalizations.”