Lead Stories Publishes ANOTHER Fake “Fact Check” on Gateway Pundit’s Reporting – This Time on Mayo Clinic’s Position on Hydroxychloroquine Effectiveness in treating COVID

Lead Stories wrote a ‘fact check’ about an article in the Gateway Pundit.

Here is their fact check, and here is the archived link to their fact check.

As usual, Lead Stories is completely wrong and negligently so about Gateway Pundit reporting.

Lead Stories Violated their Own Rules When Crafting this ‘FactCheck’

As per their factcheck guidelines, they claim to reach out to the reporters and editors of publications before publishing a factcheck like this, and having asked the author of the original article Anthony Scott, and the Gateway Pundit editors, whether they received any email or notice from Lead Stories, we were not surprised to learn that the answer was “no.” So Lead Stories is breaking its own rules to publish this hit piece in the first place.

Lead Stories is a signatory to the International Fact Check Network, aka the IFCN. This is the supposedly “impartial” body that is supposed to regulate and provide accountability to fact checkers. As part of the fact-check industrial complex, this is an integral piece to the process to demonetize and deplatform conservative speech.

As part of the IFCN rules found within their “Code of Principles,” which you can read here, is rule 5.5 excerpted as:

5.5 The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence…

Lead Stories did not do this for this article. They made zero effort to contact those who made the claim in the story, or their editors at the Gateway Pundit.

Writing Makes it Very Unclear What they are even “Checking”

So, with that said, it’s also extremely sloppy writing by Lead Stories in this piece. It’s not very clear what Lead Stories is trying so desperately to ‘debunk’ with their often-flawed analysis.

They wrote a 126-word paragraph to start the article, where the norm should be about 25-30 words, but the key part about what they’re challenging is excerpted as:

“Did the Mayo Clinic website change in September 2023 to say hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat COVID-19 patients, after previously saying it was ineffective? No, that’s not true:”

OK, so Lead Stories is saying that 1) the Mayo Clinic did not update its website, 2) in September 2023 to 3) say hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat COVID.

And they are wrong on all three accounts.

There’s no Dispute the Mayo Clinic Updated its Website about the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine

ZeroHedge did an excellent screencap of the before and after on the same page, here:


The screencap is from this page at the Mayo Clinic:


You can note all the changes on Archive.org’s “Wayback Machine” that not only tracks older versions of webpages, but also notes when those changes were made.

Here is the “Wayback Machine” for the page in question at the Mayo Clinic:


You can see that the period from September 24-27, 2023, the page was going through quite a bit of updating and changes.

So the Mayo Clinic was clearly updating its webpage during this period of time, which is in September 2023.

The Mayo Clinic Was Frantically Changing its Page Related to the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine

Here’s where Lead Stories gets very dishonest in their reporting.

It’s a common tactic by left-wing fact check outlets to cherry-pick which claim they are ‘checking’ and then, when pressed, shift their entire argument to another claim altogether.

Again, in their lead paragraph, Lead Stories said this:

“the Mayo Clinic’s website didn’t endorse the immunosuppressive and anti-parasitic drug as a general treatment for the virus, warning it “should only be used for COVID-19 in a hospital or during clinical trials.””

But of course that’s not really the issue at all. The Mayo Clinic was always saying that Hydroxychloroquine could be used. No one is disputing that fact, but they act like that’s the fact they’re checking. The issue all along has been whether Hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment to fight COVID.

That’s the entire issue.

The left-wing media made scapegoats out of cheap, easily-available, low-symptom remedies for COVID-19 in the form of Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. They were fanatics in trying to demonize and delegitimize these cheap and low-symptom treatments. They demonized Hydroxychloroquine as fish tank cleaner, and Ivermectin as goat-worm paste.

Many have likely paid the price with their lives because of this enormous media malpractice that should never be forgotten or forgiven by left-wing journalists working for free to line the pockets of major pharmaceuticals.

The entire question of the piece, implied by the change of the Mayo Clinic’s website, is that Hydroxychloroquine is a potentially effective treatment for COVID-19.

The previous statement by the Mayo Clinic was that Hydroxychloroquine was not an effective treatment and came with serious side effects.

The Mayo Clinic logo at Mayo Clinic Square, Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota

The obvious newsworthiness of the website page change is that the Mayo Clinic is now tacitly admitting that, at least for hospitalized COVID patients with few other options, Hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment that doctors should consider.

As a recap of what the Food and Drug Administration, “FDA”, said about Hydroxychloroquine, from April through June of 2020, they said it was approved only for ’emergency’ use by doctors. After June 2020, the FDA said that Hydroxychloroquine was ineffective and dangerous for use.

The Mayo Clinic has since clarified its position, by mostly speaking in euphemisms and by being extremely unclear.

People would like to know what changed and why is it newsworthy. That’s a basic assumption any reporter or journalist should bring to a story: why is this news? Why is this relevant to readers, and why now?

What’s newsworthy here is that the Mayo Clinic changed its overall guidance.

Here’s the image that shows the two different versions of the Mayo Clinic’s page:

This screencap was important because, suspiciously, the revised versions no longer appear on the “Wayback Machine.” Even though this was shared by Peter Navarro and the subject of several social media posts, the truth about this topic became hard to establish in retrospect.

In any case, here’s what was said by the Mayo Clinic up until late September 2023:

“Hydroxychloroquine may also be used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain hospitalized patients.”

Here’s what was said by the Mayo Clinic after September 26, 2023:

“In April 2020, the FDA warned healthcare professionals against using hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 unless people were in the hospital or a clinical trial. Data collected by the FDA found heart problems at a higher rate among people taking these medicines compared with those who didn’t take them.”

Interestingly, the live page has been updated again and says something slightly different now, in October 2023:

“Hydroxychloroquine is not recommended as a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Also, hydroxychloroquine doesn’t prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“Over time, clinical trials showed hydroxychloroquine:

  • Led to serious heart problems in some people.

  • Did not effectively treat COVID-19.

  • Did not prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The change is that the Mayo Clinic went from admitting Doctors can prescribe Hydroxychloroquine to simply saying that it was unsafe and removing that guidance.

And now they’re saying it’s not only ineffective, but also unsafe.

Let’s make this real simple for the leftists at Lead Stories:

Version 1: Hydroxy can be used to treat patients in certain situations.
Version 2: Hydroxy should only be used by those with COVID in hospitals.
Version 3: Hydroxy is ineffective and should not be used.

Those are three very different versions of answers to the question of whether hydroxychloroquine works to treat COVID-19.

Doctors have always had the right to direct patient care at their discretion and direction, so when Lead Stories tries to deflect by saying that the change is how they instruct Doctors as to how to treat their patients, that’s not new or newsworthy. What’s newsworthy is the change in how Hydroxy is considered effective or not.

Lead Stories is either not understanding what’s news here, or they are purposefully misrepresenting the issue.

I realize that can be a bold claim: that they are purposefully misrepresenting the issue, so to show that more vividly, let’s just compare headlines between the original reporting at the Gateway Pundit, and Lead Stories’ fact checks, and the point will become more clear.

Here’s what the Gateway Pundit reported:

Mayo Clinic Website Now Says Hydroxychloroquine CAN Be Used to Treat COVID-19 Patients, Previously Claimed It Was Not Effective on September 24, 2023

Which was entirely true and accurate. And then three days later, after the Mayo Clinic engaged in their website changes in response to the reporting, here’s what the Gateway Pundit then reported:

Mayo Clinic Scrubs Page Admitting Hydroxychloroquine Can Be Used to Treat Covid-19 on September 27, 2023

Which is again entirely true and accurate.

And then Lead Stories wrote this story:

Fact Check: Mayo Clinic Website NOT ‘Recently’ Updated To Say Hydroxychloroquine Can Be Used To Treat COVID-19 Patients — Doctors Can Prescribe But It’s Not Recommended Treatment on September 27, 2023

Which is filled with misstatements, errors of fact, and misrepresentations.

One important point is that Lead Stories failed to accurately and adequately track the fact that the Mayo Clinic website was undergoing several changes and has had several versions of their page about hydroxychloroquine in the past few weeks. They either don’t understand what’s going on or are lying about the facts.

Any one of these errors by Lead Stories might be excused as a lazy reporter and a lazy editor in Alan Duke, not properly following basic journalistic standards and ethics. Individual mistakes are understandable. But when every single mistake in an article: 1) not understanding the underlying claims, 2) misstating the claims by the Gateway Pundit piece, 3) failing to note the various versions of the Mayo Clinic website, among others, and then especially not admitting any facts which show and suggest that the Gateway Pundit reporting was accurate, then we can confidently say that this was all on purpose.

pictured: Lead Stories editor Alan Duke, for a CNN article where he claims someone called him with a ‘death threat.’ [citation needed]

The left-wing fact check industrial complex exists solely to suppress conservative media and hurt its bottom line. They don’t exist to do good reporting or educate their readers.

These losing rearguard actions by committed left-wing operatives like Lead Stories against the wildly embarrassing multi-year collapse of the COVID narrative, where lockdowns have been shown to have been pointless, masks were ineffective, social distancing was voodoo science, contact tracing was a farce, vaccines are ineffective, booster vaccine shots are counterproductive, the boom in myocarditis and heart effects, the insanity of vaccinating healthy young people, children, and pregnant women, the list goes on and on and on.

The Associated Press must have also gotten the memo to ‘debunk’ this story because they ran an even sloppier and less vigorous fact check on this topic.

Instead of ever admitting that they were wrong, and that they were complicit in the deaths of millions of people around the world through fear-mongering anti-science nonsense, they decide to spend their time writing fake fact-checks about the date and time the Mayo Clinic updated their website.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the Gateway Pundit’s first, or probably last, run in with the chronic errors at Lead Stories. Lead Stories’ Dean Miller was sued by The Gateway Pundit for defamation, in a case that was ultimately dismissed in the State of Missouri even though Lead Stories tried to ‘debunk’ big portions of the Hunter Biden laptop story and events have shown them to be flagrantly, wildly, wrong about every detail they reported on. Lead Stories engages in this kind of disinformation defamation, causing courageous Candace Owens to sue them for defamation as well.

Gateway Pundit author Anthony Scott deserves a lot of praise for getting the story right, and for having his integrity wrongly challenged by Lead Stories, an outlet notorious for such reckless defamation.

We have contacted Ed Payne at Lead Stories for comment and have not heard back. We contacted Ed Payne’s editor Alan Duke at Lead Stories and have similarly not heard back.

This post was originally published on this site