Matt Taibbi: Reporting on potential COVID-19 treatments like ivermectin shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement

Reporter Matt Taibbi on Thursday argued that journalists should be permitted to write about certain topics without being painted as a supporter of what they report on after receiving backlash for writing a story on a drug that has been used to treat some cases of COVID-19.

Last week, Taibbi published a peace on his substack titled “Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be ‘Right-Wing’?” that looked into the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin which has been used to treat some patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 

In his piece, Taibbi explored the politicization of certain drugs that has bloomed since the COVID-19 pandemic began, appearing to have started when former President Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective COVID-19 treatment without evidence.

Appearing on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Taibbi discussed the backlash he has received since publishing his piece, with many online commentators accusing him of supporting the use of the unapproved drug.

“It’s pretty incredible. The inability to make distinctions between saying something like, ‘Well I don’t think somebody should be kicked off the internet for talking about this,’ and ‘I really think this is a miracle cure that’s gonna solve the pandemic.’ Like there’s a pretty enormous delta between those two concepts, but in the internet-age people have lost the ability to make those distinctions,” Taibbi said.

“No matter what you think about the drug, you should at least be able to tell those stories and explore the, you know, what happened. But it’s become dangerous to do … so that’s an extra consideration that journalists not to take in to account,” he added.

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