When I took the bait and tried to dismantle some COVID fake news.

I am not a good troller in social media. But when I heard that Craig Kelly’s Facebook sites was one which had the highest ratings I had to go in there and give a big ‘don’t recommend’ and a negative comment.

Didn’t get many negative replies (seen in screenshot above, I could have been a smart arse with Daniel and asked him who the hell miss information was and whether she has met her). But one thing that I did notice in the replies is that what Kelly was doing was putting up peer-reviewed articles, and they were therefore scientifically accurate. As an academic librarian this was a challenge. Is this true? I Craig Kelly after all putting up papers that are ignored because they go against the dominant paradigm?

I always talk to students all the time about evaluating information. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has a very good infographic about identifying fake news

The thing is that when some say ‘peer reviewed’ there needs to be more examination of the documents themselves. So let’s take the latest issue that Craig Kelly has taken on. Invermectin.

He cites opinions from doctors from the MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF RIO GRANDE do NORTE. Not a peer reviewed study. Just opinion from some doctors. I found that a study did find that this drug ‘could an important role in reducing Covid-19 deaths. This article was published in the Rio Times in January 22 and it specifically states that is not yet Peer reviewed.

Then he cites these studies from an article in infobae, a news website that was created in Argentina in 2002 by businessman Daniel Hada. This article is from ”Alliance for Critical Care of COVID-19 on the Frontline’ I searched for this study on Google Scholar unsuccessfully. But I followed the link and got me here https://www.researchgate.net/…/348230894_Ivermectin…. That is not a peer reviewed article. It’s a report from ‘The evidence-based medicine Consultancy Ltd.’ I searched for the authors on Google Scholar and while they were there, theat article was not part of their list.

When I searched Google Scholar for anything on Invermectin I always came back to a study done by Monash University scientists that found ivermectin inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting – which is not the same as testing the drug on humans or animals.https://www.sciencedirect.com/…/pii/S0166354220302011.(article about it from Monash here https://www.monash.edu/…/Lab-experiments-show-anti…) Ivermectin is a vetenerary drug and here it is stated NOT self-medicate with Ivermectin and do NOT use Ivermectin intended for animals. The article from Monash also states that (a) whilst shown to be effective in the lab environment, Ivermectin cannot be used in humans for COVID-19 until further testing and clinical trials have been completed to establish the effectiveness of the drug at levels safe for human dosing. (b) that the potential use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 remains unproven, and depends on pre-clinical testing and clinical trials to progress the work.

And here lies the irresponsibility of Craig Kelly (and others of his ilk). He doesn’t read the small print. He just pick and chooses the bits that fits his ideology. And the irresponsibility is that people may will start buying up ivermectin out of desperation. As an example, despite a majority of evidence showing hydroxychloroquine is not an effective COVID-19 treatment, there was a rush on that drug earlier this year in the USA after President Donald Trump called it a cure. That depleted supply for those who needed the medication to treat lupus and other conditions. In March, an Arizona couple attempted to self-medicate and took chloroquine phosphate, an additive used to clean fish tanks that is also an ingredient in hydroxychloroquine. The woman became gravely ill and the man died.

So consider the sources, read beyond, check the author and see if there are any supporting sources.

1 Comment

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One response to “When I took the bait and tried to dismantle some COVID fake news.

  1. Alex

    Fighting the good fight 🙂 If you come across someone like Daniel again, the approach I would take is to say something like “I took your implied advice and went looking for peer-reviewed articles. I was able to find a lot of non-peer-reviewed articles, but the only peer-reviewed study was lab-based and not tested on either humans or animals. Could you please send me a link to the peer-reviewed articles?”

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