Go To Jail, James Bakker. Again.
Jim Bakker, that old I Need Your Money For Jesus huckster who did a five-year stint in the federal slammer for fleecing his flock faithful, has been back on low-budget cable for a few years now, mostly selling nigh-inedible survival meal buckets to get you through the End Times and explaining that Planned Parenthood performs Satanic rites, free with every abortion. Ever the kind of fellow to hop on the latest trend, Bakker is now hawking a "silver solution" that just might cure the COVID-19 coronavirus, which now has an official name. Here's the spiel, as captured by the nice folks at Right Wing Watch.
The nice lady Bakker "interviewed" about this wonder supplement admitted that the stuff hasn't actually been tested on "this strain" of coronavirus, but that it probably should do the trick, maybe.
It's been tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it in 12 hours. Totally eliminate it. Kills it. Deactivates it. And then it boosts your immune system, so then you can support the recovery, 'cause when you kill the virus, then the immune system comes into action to clear it out. So you want a vibrant immune system as well as the ability to deactivate these viruses.
Yr Doktor Zoom is not a medical doktor, but as a doktor of rhetoric, we sure know how to diagnose bullshit. For starters, we'd note that stuff about "strains" of coronavirus is pretty damn dubious; the Centers for Disease Control 'splains it's not like one virus, it's a whole damn category of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, there are four basic types of 'em, and seven different coronaviruses can infect people. The three most recent have been the viruses that caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and this year's COVID-19.
But those science facts are really beside the point, because Nice Lady's basic claim is absolute bullshit: The FDA has been warning since 1999 that silver supplements are garbage, and are decidedly not "safe or effective" or of any use at all "for treating any disease or condition."
What's more, the shit can turn your skin permanently blue, a condition called argyria. Silver is not a nutritional supplement, the human body does not need it at all, and the Federal Trade Commission and FDA have both taken action against companies making health claims for the crap. Hell, it won't even make you an impressive orator like William Jennings Bryan.
Which is why fans of quackery say THEY don't want you to know the truth about silver's miraculous health benefits that don't actually exist. And why Jim Bakker will happily sell you the stuff in various amounts, from the 21-pack of throat lozenges for only $80, to the great big case of 12 16-ounce bottles for a mere $300. It must be good, because look at this cleansing immunobabble. This stuff engoodens your "immune system"
- Faster – By using catalytic instead of chemical action, Silver helps speed up natural processes that have positive effects on the body.
- Longer – Unlike other silvers that quit working after completing one function, Silver performs over and over for hours.
- More Efficiently – By resonating at just the right frequency, Silver disrupts foreign elements without disturbing the body's natural environment.
It resonates at just the right frequency! If that isn't science, we don't know what is.
It might be nice if some earnest prosecutor could send Bakker back to jail for selling fraudulent "health" products, but Yr Dok Zoom is also not a lawyer, and we have no idea whether the segment here or the sales pitch includes enough weasel words to keep him on the right side of the law. But it sure would seem to us that a claim like it "kills" viruses, "deactivates" them, would be a pretty clear claim for some state attorneys general to look into, if Bill Barr is busy at the moment.
But we definitely did notice the sales page includes a link to a mandatory statement under California's Proposition 65, which advises,
We are providing the following warning for products linked to this page:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Gosh, if those flakes in California say it's bad for you, it must REALLY be something.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.