Reuters Issues Major Correction to Report Originally Claiming Ivermectin Was Found Effective Against Omicron


Reuters issued a serious correction to a report that claimed Ivermectin was found to be effective in treating the Omicron variant of Covid.

Reuters initially reported early Monday morning that a Japanese pharmaceutical company had found Ivermectin — an anti-parasitic drug that has been touted as a treatment for Covid but has not been approved by the FDA — effective against the virus in a Phase III trial.

The headline and lede of the original report, which like every Reuters story was syndicated on other major outlets around the world, read as follows:

In a correction, Reuters noted that the drug was not found effective in Phase III clinical trials, but had an “antiviral effect” against Omicron in “non-clinical research.”

A Reuters spokesperson acknowledged the error in a statement.

“The original Reuters story misstated that ivermectin was ‘effective’ against Omicron in Phase III clinical trials, which are conducted in humans,” the spokesperson said. “We corrected this to clarify it had an ‘antiviral effect’ against Omicron and it was shown in joint non-clinical research. After being made aware of the error, we corrected our story immediately.”

As political analyst Arieh Kovler noted on Twitter, it was already known that Ivermectin had an antiviral effect against previous strains of Covid. But having an antiviral effect in a lab does not mean that the drug works to treat or prevent Covid.

Kovler suggested that Reuters had misread the Kowa press release — which mentioned an ongoing Phase III trial — and mistakenly conflated that trial with the lab finding about Ivermectin.

The antiviral drug has been touted as a Covid treatment most prominently by media vaccine skeptics like Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Joe Rogan, who used Ivermectin during his bout with Covid.

Ingraham tweeted out a link to the Reuters report on Monday before it was corrected.