The Associated Press had to issue a correction to an article published in late August that claimed 70% of calls made to the Mississippi Department of Health were from people who had ingested the livestock version of Ivermectin.
The story followed media hyping the idea that people were taking a common horse dewormer to treat COVID-19. Someone, somewhere may have done this, but the media has treated it as if it is a common phenomenon — and have been proven wrong.
The AP issued the following correction to its article:
In an article published Aug. 23, 2021, about people taking livestock medicine to try to treat coronavirus, The Associated Press erroneously reported based on information provided by the Mississippi Department of Health that 70% of recent calls to the Mississippi Poison Control Center were from people who had ingested ivermectin to try to treat COVID-19. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Wednesday the number of calls to poison control about ivermectin was about 2%. He said of the calls that were about ivermectin, 70% were by people who had ingested the veterinary version of the medicine.
So, doing the math, a total of 1.4% of the calls to Mississippi Poison Control were from people who said they had ingested the livestock version of Ivermectin.
The correction was issued on August 25, two days after the story was published. It follows another serious journalism error in recent days relating to Ivermectin, which is used to treat humans as well as animals, although, obviously, in different ways.
Over the weekend, Rolling Stone and Rachel Maddow repeated claims from a doctor in Oklahoma who told local outlet KFOR that emergency rooms in the state were overwhelmed by patients who had taken the livestock version of Ivermectin, forcing gunshot victims to wait. As The Daily Wire reported, that story was debunked by a hospital in Oklahoma who said the doctor, Jason McElyea, is affiliated with a group that sometimes covers the hospital’s emergency room, he hadn’t worked there in more than 2 months. The hospital also said it hadn’t had any cases of Ivermectin ingestion. The hospital’s full statement read:
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.