Remember all those studies that purportedly showed that the horse and sheep dewormer, Ivermectin, could cure or prevent COVID? Well, one of the most cited ones was just retracted.
Here's what happened. The original study appears in a journal called Viruses in May of 2021. It was called “Effects of a Single Dose of Ivermectin on Viral and Clinical Outcomes in Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infected Subjects: A Pilot Clinical Trial in Lebanon." The problem was that their data was seriously flawed. So flawed, in fact, that their only option was to retract it, as there was no way to remove the flawed data from the entire data set to salvage any part of the data set or study.
As someone who has actually created and analyzed data sets for my own research and graduate work, the fact that the data was this flawed is a failure of epic proportions. There were so many red flags, I am surprised this passed the most basic level of review. It is pretty clear that the goal was to rush this study, and the flawed findings, to press in order to push this false finding that Ivermectin was a cure/treatment for a virus.
Ok, so back to the study. The abstract reads as follows:
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 100 asymptomatic Lebanese subjects that have tested positive for SARS-CoV2. Fifty patients received standard preventive treatment, mainly supplements, and the experimental group received a single dose (according to body weight) of ivermectin, in addition to the same supplements the control group received.
The (flawed) results were presented as follows:
Ivermectin appears to be efficacious in providing clinical benefits in a randomized treatment of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects, effectively resulting in fewer symptoms, lower viral load and reduced hospital admissions. However, larger-scale trials are warranted for this conclusion to be further cemented.
Questions were raised early on. The BBC looked into the data sets and found - bizarrely - that details of 11 patients were repeatedly "copied and pasted," which is statistically impossible and speaks to fake patient profiles being set up (ie, they do not exist).
When confronted with this finding, the authors of the study told the BBC that "the ‘original set of data was rigged, sabotaged or mistakenly entered in the final file’ and that they have submitted a retraction to the scientific journal which published it.
Except that is not at all what the retraction says. They just say here was an "error between files used for the statistical analysis" with no mention of rigging, sabotage or mistaken entry. When confronted with the major difference in the explanation for the retraction, they said that the "file that was used to train a research assistant was sent by mistake for analysis. Re-analysing the original data , the conclusions of the paper remained valid."
So now they are blaming the research assistant for using a data set used for training versus the real data set? That does not pass the smell test. And even worse, the retraction will never make the news, especially the 90 news outlets (many right wing) that cited it as justification for the usage of Ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID.
But keep taking horse dewormer, you dumb Trump supporting sheep. The vaccine is free - and effective.