BY BETH DEDMAN
New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered radio host Alex Jones to immediately stop marketing products from his website as cures for the Coronavirus, according to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General.
Jones had been falsely marketing products like toothpaste, dietary supplements and creams containing nano silver or colloidal silver as treatments to prevent and cure COVID-19.
Jones claimed his products, which he was selling on his website www.InfoWarsStores.com, were a “stopgate” against the virus and that the government had said his Superblue Toothpaste “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range.”
There is no Food-and-Drug-Administration-approved vaccine, nor any specific medicine, to prevent or treat this disease, according to the World Health Organization.
Jones’ claims about the benefits of nano silver or colloidal silver, the main active ingredients in his products, are also dangerously false. Colloidal silver can be dangerous to a person’s health, according to the National Institutes of Health. The FDA, as supported by countless scientific studies, has warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
“As the coronavirus continues to pose serious risks to public health, Alex Jones has spewed outright lies and has profited off of New Yorkers’ anxieties,” Attorney General James said. “Mr. Jones’ public platform has not only given him a microphone to shout inflammatory rhetoric, but his latest mistruths are incredibly dangerous and pose a serious threat to the public health of New Yorkers and individuals across the nation. If these unlawful violations do not cease immediately, my office will not hesitate to take legal action and hold Mr. Jones accountable for the harm he’s caused.”
The Office of the Attorney General is monitoring businesses across the state for potential scams and price gouging schemes designed to exploit public concern related to the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 12, James sent cease and desist orders to two other companies, the Silver Edge company and Dr. Sherri Sellman, which claimed that their products were also treatments for the coronavirus.
James has also issued cease and desist notifications to multiple businesses in New York for violating New York’s price gouging statute by charging excessive prices for hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and rubbing alcohol. The statute prohibits the excessive raising of prices for goods and services necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers during any abnormal disruption of the market.
Scammers commonly exploit real public health concerns and use heightened public fear to prey on consumers and profit from frauds related to those health fears.
“Any individual, company, or entity that deceives the public and preys on innocent civilians will pay for their unlawful actions,” Attorney General James said.
To report a potential scam or price gouging incident, contact the Office of the Attorney General at ag.ny.gov/coronavirus.
This story first appeared on amny.com.