Rolling Stone forced to issue an 'update' after viral hospital ivermectin story turns out to be false

The Northeastern Hospital System released a statement contradicting the story

Rolling Stone was forced to issue an update to its viral story about Oklahoma hospitals being overwhelmed by patients who overdosed on the drug ivermectin after the doctor it cited was contradicted by the hospitals he referenced.

On Friday, the liberal magazine published testimony from Dr. Jason McElyea, who told a local news station that hospitals were being overrun from patients overdosing on ivermectin which resulted in other patients waiting for treatment. McElyea claimed the situation was so bad that gunshot victims were being neglected.

"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 said.

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The story, which originally appeared in Oklahoma's KFOR-TV news, was widely shared by reporters, including MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.

Fellow MSNBC left-wing anchor Joy Reid also promoted the story during her show on Friday, repeating McElyea's claims.

"An emergency in one rural Oklahoma town is being overwhelmed by people overdosing on ivermectin, the horse deworming medication. It's gotten so bad that gunshot victims, gunshot victims are having to wait to be treated," she said.

The story was also shared by New York Daily News, Newsweek, The Guardian and Insider.

However, the Northeastern Hospital System, which McElyea works for, issued a statement regarding his association with the hospitals reported in the story. The NHS revealed while McElyea "is affiliated" with a medial staffing group, he has not worked at the location in question for 2 months nor has he treated any ivermectin overdoses. 

"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," the statement reads.

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Furthermore, the NHS insisted that patients are not being turned any for emergency care in contrast to the recent reports.

"All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate," NHS said. "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."

Rolling Stone later published an "update" to the top of the story which repeats NHS' statement. 

Critics slammed the magazine for publishing what appears to be a false story.

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, "The only reason Rolling Stone is calling this an ‘UPDATE’ as opposed to what it so plainly is -- a RETRACTION -- is because liberal outlets know that their readers don't care at all if they publish fake news as long as it's done with the right political motives and goals."

"Rolling Stone misspells ‘CORRECTION’ or ‘RETRACTION,'" Fox News contributor Joe Concha tweeted.

"Rolling Stone proving it did not learn its lesson from the UVA rape hoax disaster," Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross wrote 

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Ivermectin is most notably used as a cost-effective treatment for malaria and head lice as well as heartworm in domesticated dogs and cats. The FDA warns against the use of ivermectin for treating COVID-19, noting that "taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm." The FDA also warned against ingesting the derivative form usually meant for dogs or horses.

"The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea," the FDA website states.