Fact Check: News Report Accidentally Used Wrong Clip Featuring Incorrect Medication -- Queen Is NOT Being Treated With Ivermectin

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: News Report Accidentally Used Wrong Clip Featuring Incorrect Medication -- Queen Is NOT Being Treated With Ivermectin Editing Error

Did a news report accidentally reveal that doctors are giving a "banned" COVID-19 treatment to Queen Elizabeth? No, that's not true: Due to an editing error, the Australian program "A Current Affair" featured a clip showing a bottle of Stromectol, a brand name for ivermectin, along with the intended clip of Sotrovimab. The error was acknowledged and clarified on the station's website 9now.nine.com.au. The Australian doctor who was featured in the program, who is not treating the queen, also published a tweet calling attention to the editing error and linking to the correct information.

"A Current Affair" aired in Australia on February 21, 2022, with footage of the wrong medication thanks to a human editing error. Rumors began spreading on social media that Queen Elizabeth was being treated with Stromectol. An example is a short video clip published on Rumble by The Charlie Kirk Show on February 21, 2022. The video clip is titled, "News Report Accidentally Reveals Doctors Giving 'Banned' COVID Treatment to the Queen" (archived here). It opened:

(Pause at 0:19)
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Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

News Report Accidentally Reveals Doctors Giving "Banned" COVID Treatment to the Queen

In the short clip posted on Rumble, Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal speaks in general terms about people in their 90s and treatments for COVID. This is the transcription of the video clip:

Haikerwal: People in their 90s are at significant danger of the bad outcomes of COVID.

Narrator: Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal says a COVID patient the Queen's age should be isolating and might benefit from new medicines currently approved for high-risk patients at Australian hospitals.

Haikerwal: These tablets or these infusions can make a dramatic difference to their immediate welfare and health and how they feel but also their long-term benefits as well.

Narrator: Is it possible for a person in the 90s to have a mild case of COVID?

Haikerwal: Yes ... (cuts off)

During this segment the footage switches from Haikerwal walking through a hallway to two brief shots of medications. The narration does not mention any medication by name, only describing them as "new medicines currently approved for high-risk patients at Australian hospitals." The image on the left below shows the approved infusion medication called Sotrovimab. The image of Stromectol on the right was accidentally included.


(Image source: Rumble screenshots taken on Tue Feb 22 16:49:02 2022 UTC)

A Current Affair published a tweet on February 21, 2022, that announced an update.


(Image source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Feb 22 16:11:20 2022 UTC)

The tweet linked to the 9now.nine.com.au website. The story clarification said:

Last night our report on the Queen contained a shot that should not have been included.

The shot was included as a result of human error.

We were highlighting an approved infusion medication called Sotrovimab and the report accidentally cut to a shot of Stromectol - a product which contains Ivermectin.

As a program we've done numerous stories highlighting the concerns around taking Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.

We did not intend to suggest Dr Mukesh Hawikerwal endorsed Stromectol.

We've apologised to him this morning and he has accepted that apology.

We do not suggest the Queen is using Ivermectin.

Haikerwal also published a tweet that includes a link to an article about the new COVID anti-virals on the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners website. Haikerwal's tweet says:

www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinica @RACGP @ama_media

This is the list of medication that is used in Australia for definite treatment for COVID-19. I understand images inadvertently inserted into the @ACurrentAffair9 will be removed during the course of today. The channel has been alerted.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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