A popular televangelist was recently issued a cease and desist order by the New York attorney general to stop promoting his cure-all product as a cure for the highly-contagious Covid-19 coronavirus strain.
The last thing you would expect a holy man to do is promote a fake cure against a potentially deadly disease to desperate people for profit, and yet, that’s allegedly exactly what Rev. Jim Bakker has been doing. To be fair, Bakker had long been peddling his “Silver Solution” – a scientifically unproven medication made from the precious metal – as a cure for all sorts of ailments, but when he included the rapidly-spreading Covid-19 coronavirus strain to the list of curable diseases, authorities stepped in.
The “last straw” as it were, was Bakker’s February 12 TV show, where he asked one of his guests, a naturopathic doctor, if his Silver Solution, which is sold via his website, could do what doctors and scientists around the world have been struggling to do for over three months now – cure Covid-19.
“It hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it’s been tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours. Totally eliminates it, kills it, deactivates it and then it boosts your immune system,” naturopath Sherrill Sellman answered, while Bakker interjected, “yeah, yeah”.
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
As other panelists on the show expressed their amazement, with one exclaiming “that’s so good!”, a text ad for Silver Solution appeared on screen, inviting viewers to buy four tubes of Silver Solution gel for $80, or a variety pack of two bottles of Silver Solution liquid, two tubes of gel and three lozenges for $125, only on JimBakkerShow.com.
The segment justifiably caused a few raised eyebrows, and after being featured on John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” episode on the coronavirus, it attracted the attention of New York Attorney General. A cease and desist order was issued to Rev. Jim Bakker, informing him that there was no proven cure for Covid-19 and asking him to stop peddling Silver Solution as one.
“Your show’s segment may mislead consumers as to the effectiveness of the Silver Solution product in protecting against the current outbreak. … Any representation on the Jim Bakker Show that its Silver Solution products are effective at combatting and/or treating the 2019 novel coronavirus violates New York law,” Lisa Landau, the chief of the attorney general’s health-care bureau, wrote.
Interestingly, Rev. Jim Bakker’s staff insists that Silver Solution isn’t a fraud, claiming that they believe in the product because of customer testimonies and what they have experienced themselves, as well as because of the recommendation of scientists they respect.
“By resonating at just the right frequency, Silver disrupts foreign elements without disturbing the body’s natural environment,” the product description for Silver Solution reads. “Silver has natural, God-given actions unlike any other metal or element that exists. There are many other elements that have value, but none has been blessed with the medicine chest of medicinal effects that silver has.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, colloidal silver, the active ingredient in Silver Solution, has no proven medical benefits, and can in fact be detrimental to health.