Rolling Stone’s ivermectin fiction shows why Republicans don’t trust media

If you want to know why Republicans have no faith in news organizations, look no further than the Rolling Stone story shared liberally across Twitter this weekend claiming that Oklahoma hospitals were turning away gunshot victims because they were overwhelmed by “horse dewormer overdoses.” 

Headlined “Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says,” the Rolling Stone story, written by Peter Wade , quoted a Dr. Jason McElyea who claimed, “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 blamed the lack of hospital beds on an influx of patients who had taken ivermectin to counteract COVID-19 symptoms. Despite the drug’s long history of successful prescribed use in human patients, the online left has taken to calling the Nobel Prize-winning drug a “horse dewormer.” 

McElyea added some color to his story, claiming, “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” the doctor said.

The biggest names in progressive media loved the story and shared it widely on Twitter. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tweeted a version of the story to her 10.5 million followers, and the Daily Beast’Wajahat Ali retweeted the story, adding, “It’s like a Biblical horror story. You literally have people denying a vaccine and life to follow their pharaohs towards death.” 

The problem is the story was complete fiction. The hospital system in question issued a statement hours later explaining: 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. 

Earlier this week, Pew found that Republicans’ trust in national news organizations had fallen to 35%. This Rolling Stone story and the progressive media’s unquestioning embrace of it is just the latest example of why.