How The Queen Became An Accidental Victim Of COVID-19 Misinformation

The dangerous thing about misinformation is that anyone can be susceptible to it. And if enough people fall for the fake news, the spread can impact even the people who don't believe it, including the queen of England. At the moment, COVID-19 misinformation has become a huge problem all over the world, as conspiracy theories and fake cures spread like wildfire across some of the less reputable places on the internet. Somehow, Queen Elizabeth II got sucked into an extremely not-true ivermectin story.

Ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug used by veterinarians to treat worms in farm animals like horses, has been falsely touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. Note: The Food & Drug Administration has warned people not to take ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID, as it has no proven benefits and large doses can be dangerous or even fatal. Dr. Anthony Fauci has also warned people not to take ivermectin, telling CNN's Jake Tapper, "Don't do it."

And yet, some people continue to believe in its effectiveness. And now they've dragged the queen into it, too.

The queen is not taking this drug

The whole mess started when an Australian news program, "A Current Affair," accidentally showed a one-second image of Stromectol, the brand name for ivermectin, during an online broadcast about Queen Elizabeth getting COVID-19, according to the Daily Dot. This single shot was enough to start an online anti-vax snowball, with anti-vaccine activists and conservative commentators taking the clip as "proof" that ivermectin was effective and that the queen herself was taking it.

The problem is that this is not true. At no point did "A Current Affair" suggest that ivermectin was effective or that the queen was taking the drug. A spokesperson for the news outlet confirmed to The Guardian that the Stromectol shot was an accident, and the doctor who was speaking during the segment, Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, told The Guardian, "Ivermectin never even came into the conversation," and clarified that he was talking about sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody that actually is used to treat severe cases of COVID-19. 

Let this be yet another lesson for us all — always check the facts!