Conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones promoted a toothpaste he claims "federal officials" have said can kill COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, which has infected more than 120,000 people and killed thousands across the world. Federal agencies dispute this claim, however, and have labeled such products as "fraudulent."
According to the Hill, Jones made the claim about the "nano-silver infused" toothpaste on his website during a show earlier this week. "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," Jones is said to have explained.
"They're still discounted despite all the hell breaking loose," the controversial online media personality added.
'Fraudulent COVID-19 products'
Jones made the claim after the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission warned other shows and online companies they were selling selling "fraudulent COVID-19 products" that claim to prevent or cure the coronavirus. Among those items were colloidal silver, also said to be known as "nanosilver," as well as teas, tinctures, and oils.
In a statement, the FDA explained it has previously warned that it does not consider colloidal silver as either safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
"There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus," FTC Chairman Joe Simons said. "What we don't need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. 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."
'There are no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19'
The FDA also pushed back against any claims that any cures or vaccines exist to combat the coronavirus:
There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19. Although there are investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development and have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
As of Thursday morning, there were 1,346 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and 38 deaths resulting from the illness. The coronavirus has claimed 4,751 lives across the world since the outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, China.