Alex Jones Probed by New York AG Over Silver-Based Covid-19 ‘Cure’
(Bloomberg) -- Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s claim that a toothpaste he sells “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range” is the latest bogus silver-based cure to come under legal scrutiny.
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday ordered Jones to immediately cease and desist from selling the product on his right-wing website, InfoWars. James has already cracked down on similar silver claims made by the disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and a Phoenix-based salesman.
Jones, who has bragged about his influence with President Donald Trump and hosted him on his show in 2015, told viewers in a March 10 broadcast that the effectiveness of his supposedly virus-fighting toothpaste is backed by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
“As the coronavirus continues to pose serious risks to public health, Alex Jones has spewed outright lies and has profited off of New Yorkers’ anxieties,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Mr. Jones’ public platform has not only given him a microphone to shout inflammatory rhetoric, but his latest mistruths are incredibly dangerous.”
New York became aware of Jones’s false claims after they were flagged online by Media Matters for America, a self-described progressive policy group that says it works to correct conservative “misinformation,” the attorney general’s office said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that’s now a pandemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says on its website that colloidal silver, which consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid, isn’t proven to support health.
“In fact, colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health,” HHS says.
Infowars didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, James ordered The Silver Edge company to immediately stop marketing and selling its Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator. The Arizona-based company allegedly claimed the product “beats coronavirus” and that there is “clinical documentation” to prove it, James said in a statement.
A message left for The Silver Edge wasn’t returned.
A week earlier, New York told Bakker to stop making similar claims about another silver-based product. The state’s cease-and-desist letter to Bakker said that a guest on his Feb. 12 show touted a dietary supplement called Silver Solution, claiming it had been found to eliminate viruses similar to the coronavirus within 12 hours.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued Bakker this week over the claim. Schmitt seeks a restraining order and permanent injunction barring Bakker from pitching the product.
“Anyone who has bought ‘Silver Solution’ from the Jim Bakker Show should know that it cannot cure or treat coronavirus,” Schmitt said in a statement.
The Jim Bakker Show didn’t respond to a message seeking comment on the lawsuit.
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