For nearly two years, televangelist Jim Bakker has been hawking a “Silver Solution” that functions as a faith-based miracle drug. At first, he said it could get rid of “all venereal diseases.” But in the past several weeks, he’s been promoting it as a cure for coronavirus (in under 12 hours, no less) as well as a way to prevent SARS and HIV.
The Jim Bakker Show is suggesting that the silver solution it sells can kill the coronavirus within 12 hours. pic.twitter.com/kbUGnUp69m
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 12, 2020
He has also said the silver is “almost like a miracle” and that “God created it in Heaven.”
A 12-pack of 16-oz. bottles of Silver Solution will run you about $300.
All of this is insanely dangerous. Who knows how many people have bought the snake oil in lieu of something useful? Plus there are serious side effects. On his online store where the solution is sold, there’s a link specifically for California residents — a Proposition 65 Warning — that says “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Now the state of New York is taking action.
Attorney General Letitia James announced today that her office sent a cease and desist order to Bakker this week as part of an overall action plan against coronavirus scams. The letter was signed by Lisa Landau, the chief of the Health Care Bureau.
The World Health Organization (“WHO”) has noted that there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this disease. Therefore, any representation on the Jim Bakker Show that its Silver Solution products are effective at combatting an/or treating the 2019 novel coronavirus violates New York law.
Your show is hereby advised to immediately cease and desist from making misleading claims regarding the Silver Solution’s effectiveness as they violate New York’s consumer protection statutes… which prohibit fraudulent and deceptive business practices and false advertising.
Additionally, you are advised to immediately affix the disclaimer – “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” – to all Silver Solution products listed on the show’s online store.
A Jim Bakker show without misleading claims would be more like a 30-second commercial, but the point is clear: He’s lying to people. He needs to stop.
And yet, even if he’s not saying outlandish things about the silver, the scary thing is that no amount of disclaimers will ever stop his gullible viewers from handing over their money. If the cancer warning didn’t do the trick, why would noting the lack of approval from the FDA?
This is Jim Bakker. He’ll just say the product has the approval of God and then continue peddling it. It’s the way he’s always duped his viewers.
In other words, Bakker can avoid the “$5,000 per violation” penalty while still pretending Silver Solution has power. The attorney general’s office doesn’t have the power to stop him from fleecing the most ignorant Christians in the country. He just has to use the proper language when doing it.
Incidentally, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons and U.S. Food and Drug Administrator Dr. Stephen Hahn asking them to investigate Bakker’s claims as well.
… During his web show and on his website, televangelist James Bakker has repeatedly made misleading claims that a nanosilver formula product he sells, Optivida Silver Sol (16 oz.), successfully treats novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and cures venereal disease among a plethora of preposterous assertions by Bakker that threaten the public health,” Rep. Pascrell writes the FTC and FDA.
A prominent televangelist, Bakker was imprisoned for nearly five years after being convicted in federal court for mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, and defrauding his followers. On public broadcasts, Bakker has claimed that the Optivida Silver Sol product he sells can cure “viruses, wound and skin conditions, anti-inflammatory, sinus infections, allergies, cold and flu, bronchitis.” These claims are not only dangerous, they are false, misleading, and can only steer consumers away from legitimate ways to prevent infections.
The FDA and FTC have not yet taken action.
Whatever the outcome, give a lot of credit to Right Wing Watch for keeping tabs on Bakker and reporting on his lies. Without their scrutiny (and ability to let Bakker’s words do the heavy lifting), who knows when Bakker’s claims would ever catch up to him?
(via Right Wing Watch)