Anti-vaccine activists are citing an Australian news broadcast online as evidence that the Queen of England is taking Ivermectin after testing positive for COVID-19. Yet the claim isn’t true.
During a segment on the television show “A Current Affair” on Monday evening, a one-second shot of the drug Stromectol, the brand name for the anti-parasite medication Ivermectin, was included as a doctor discussed viable treatments for COVID.
The clip was quickly spread online by those who claimed that it proved not only that Ivermectin was an effective treatment but that the Queen herself was taking it.
Elijah Schaffer, a host on Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV, asserted that the media was admitting that Ivermectin was a “new miracle drug.”
“They are now claiming ivermectin is a new miracle drug that can save lives,” he claimed. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Ian Miles Cheong, a supporter of former President Donald Trump and a conservative commentator from Malaysia, attempted to mock those who had referred to Ivermectin as horse paste.
While Ivermectin can be prescribed in pill form for humans to treat certain parasites, the drug is also commonly given to livestock such as horses in paste form. Throughout the pandemic, conspiracy theorists were purchasing large quantities of the animal version from livestock feed stores.
A study published last week on a randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients with mild to moderate cases of COVID found that Ivermectin did not prevent progression to severe disease.
“But I thought Ivermectin was horse paste?” Cheong questioned sarcastically.
But the claims being made online are easily disproven. For starters, at no point during the clip is it stated that the Queen is taking Ivermectin.
Secondly, the doctor featured in the clip, Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, merely discusses new medications that could be beneficial for the elderly.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, a spokesperson for A Current Affair confirmed that the B-roll clip showing Ivermectin was inadvertently placed into the segment.
“Last night our report on the Queen contained a shot that shouldn’t have been included. The shot was included as a result of human error,” the spokesperson said. “We were highlighting an approved infusion medication called Sotrovimab and the report accidentally cut to a shot of Stromectol.”
The spokesperson added that it was not suggesting that the Queen is using Ivermectin.
Dr. Haikerwal also confirmed on Twitter that he was not discussing Ivermectin during the segment, which is not approved to treat COVID in Australia.
A Current Affair issued a correction on its website and reportedly removed the clip showing Ivermectin.
In comments to the Guardian, Dr. Haikerwal reiterated that he was clearly referencing Sotrovimab during his interview.
“Ivermectin never even came into the conversation,” Dr. Haikerwal said. “I said there are medications available for people who are vulnerable… I didn’t even name them, but it was obviously sotrovimab. It certainly wouldn’t be ivermectin. I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Despite both A Current Affair and Dr. Haikerwal pushing back on the false claims, anti-vaccine activists online are now suggesting without evidence that the debunking of their claim is part of a grand conspiracy to keep Ivermectin from the masses.