U.S. NEWS
11/03/2020 22:00 GMT | Updated 12/03/2020 20:38 GMT

Alex Jones Is Peddling Toothpaste That He Falsely Says Kills Coronavirus

The "Infowars" founder is just the latest to attempt to profit off of fears over the outbreak.

Conspiracy theorist and talk radio host Alex Jones is using public fears over the coronavirus outbreak to help peddle toothpaste that he falsely claims can kill the virus.

Jones told listeners on his “Infowars” program Tuesday that silver-infused toothpaste being sold on his website has been verified by federal officials as a coronavirus killer, despite the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying otherwise.

“The patented nanosilver we have, the Pentagon has come out and documented and Homeland Security has said this stuff kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range,” he said. “They’re still discounted despite all the hell breaking loose.”

Jim Young / Reuters
Alex Jones of "Infowars" advertised toothpaste to his listeners that he said can kill the coronavirus.

Products that contain nanosilver, also known as colloidal silver, contain actual silver particles that are suspended in a liquid typically for antimicrobial benefits.

The FDA has previously said that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition, however. On Monday, nanosilver was on a list of products that the FDA said it had flagged, along with the Federal Trade Commission, as being sold as unapproved products intended to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Warning letters were issued to companies that were selling the products. One of the letters was issued to the televangelist program “The Jim Bakker Show,” which the FDA rebuked for selling a product called Silver Solution that it advertised as a cure for coronavirus.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday said his office has filed a lawsuit against Jim Bakker and his company Morningside Church Productions “for misrepresentations about the effectiveness of ‘Silver Solution’ as a treatment for 2019 novel coronavirus.”

Schmitt’s office, citing the FDA, said that “currently, there are no vaccines, pills, potions or other prescription or over-the-counter products to treat or cure coronavirus disease.”

FTC Chairman Joe Simons, in announcing the warnings to seven companies, slammed solicitors like Bakker who are trying to cash in on public fears.

“What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims,” he said in a statement. “These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”

Jones is widely known for spreading falsehoods on his program, some of which led to a defamation suit over conspiracy theory claims he’s pushed about the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. In December, a judge ordered him to pay $100,000 in legal fees in that suit.

A spokesperson for Jones sent HuffPost a letter on Thursday that was attributed to Jones’ lawyer and stated that “InfoWars” stands by the product. “Infowars remains committed to following FDA best practices in evaluation of health supplements,” the letter said.

An FDA spokesperson said in an email to HuffPost that it is aware of Jones’ claims regarding the toothpaste but would not discuss specific enforcement matters. The spokesperson noted the seven companies issued warnings and said the FDA and FTC will continue to monitor social media, online marketplaces and incoming complaints “to help ensure that the companies do not continue to sell fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

H/T Media Matters