Mr. Rogers had a famous saying about times of crisis. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
And during the pandemic, we’ve seen all sorts of helpers stepping up and doing good: our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, supermarket employees, USPS workers, delivery drivers and the like are a strong reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the goodness that lives within us all.
And then, of course, there are the craven self-serving asshats who remind us what a cesspool humanity can be. Like that guy who hoarded over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, or religious leaders who refuse to stop services for the greater good, or, you know, this fucking guy.
I don’t think Mr. Rogers had a saying about these jackholes.
Joining these jackals is infamous bloviator and conspiracy peddler Alex Jones. The Infowars host took a break from harassing the Sandy Hook parents and fighting his various social media bans to sell his latest snake oil cure for COVID-19.
Jones has been selling his patented silver-infused toothpaste and lying that federal officials have approved its use. They haven’t, and there is no cure for COVID-19, least of all metallic toothpaste. The FDA has since said that the use of colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
Since then, the Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to Jones for promoting illegal and unapproved drugs, which can bring financial penalties and risk product seizures by the federal government. The letter reads, “We request that you take immediate action to cease the sale of such unapproved and unauthorized products for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19.”
FTC Chairman Joe Simons said of companies like Jones’s, “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.”
You would think that Jones would be wary of lying to the public again. After all, he already had to pay nearly $150,000 in legal fees to the Sandy Hook parents who he defamed and slandered.
But peddlers will continue to peddle, and men like Jones will continue to grift the public and spread lies no matter who it hurts or destroys. Some folks aren’t simply content to watch the world burn: they want to spin a profit as they do so.
(via HuffPost, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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