People are still in disbelief regarding Trump’s bizarre comments during Thursday’s White House COVID-19 briefing, where he speculated about the use of disinfectants, including such as Lysol and bleach to cure those infected with coronavirus.
You can read Dr. Deborah Birx’ body language and demeanor and see that she is exasperated with and appalled by Trump’s preposterous conjecture.
Dr. Birx has been the subject of criticism, for not being more direct in pushing back against Trump’s statements that are totally disconnected with scientific reality regarding the virus. Some who know her well, see it as a survival tactic.
Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, believes Birx’ ongoing participation is strategic. “I’m glad she’s there,” Weinstein said. “It’s very obvious that she’s made a calculation what she must do to remain there, and that’s, on balance, beneficial.”
Many are wondering what is the source of Trump’s absurd notions. A partial answer leads us to an anti-vaxx organization known as “Genesis II”, a Florida based ‘church’, whose activities principally consist of collecting $35 memberships to the church from people who want to present a certificate to public health authorities in order to avoid mandatory vaccines under various religious exemptions.
Here is an except of the ‘churches’ mission statement:
Up until last week, Genesis II was also peddling common industrial bleach in diluted form, to ‘members’ of the church and the general public, as a COVID-19 ‘cure’. So called Bishop Mark Grenon, markets the substance as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims that it can “cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism,” and “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body.”
A federal judge, responding to a petition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), issued a preliminary injunction against Genesis II. The following is an excerpt from the complaint and request for a restraining order to the court, submitted by the FDA:
“Americans expect and deserve proven medical treatments and today’s action is a forceful reminder that the FDA will use its legal authorities to quickly stop those who have proven to continuously threaten the health of the American public. It is vital that sellers of drug products comply with the FD&C Act and do not sell products with false and misleading claims, especially to treat COVID-19 and other debilitating diseases, such as autism and Alzheimer’s Disease,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Despite a previous warning, the Genesis II Church of Healing has continued to actively place consumers at risk by peddling potentially dangerous and unapproved chlorine dioxide products. We will not stand for this, and the FDA remains fully committed to taking strong enforcement action against any sellers who place unsuspecting American consumers at risk by offering their unproven products to treat serious diseases.”
Another player in this staggering episode, is Alan Keyes. You may remember him as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, who ran against Barack Obama, a three time flop as a candidate for president, a political extremist and a man who is so hateful towards gay people that he disowned his own daughter.
Keyes, on his online talk show, “Let’s Talk America”, has been pitching MMS. A colleague on the web platform that hosts Keyes’ program, Bob Sisson, told his listeners recently, “Gonna meet Trump, it’s only a matter of time. President Trump’s gonna invite us up there, when he finds out about this stuff.”
It should perhaps come as no surprise that the founder of Genesis II, Jim Humble, comes from the ranks of Scientology and claims that he is a “billion year old god from the Andromeda galaxy.”
Of MMS, Humble says:
“MMS kills pathogens and destroys (oxidizes) poisons. When pathogens and poisons in the body are reduced or eliminated, then the body can function properly, and thereby heal. I often say ‘the body heals the body.’ MMS helps to line things up so the body can do just that.”
The reality is that many people have become sick using this substance. David Colquhoun, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at University College London, hit back at Humble’s claims. “Every quack claims that their treatment will eliminate ‘poisons’ or ‘toxins’. They never say what these might actually be and never cite any evidence (because there isn’t any),” he said.
The unfounded concept Trump was speculating about in the press briefing, has not only been associated with many instances of severe illnesses, but in a few instances, people have actually died. This is a report from ABC 7 in Los Angeles in 2016, in which their investigative reporter got an inside look at Genesis II and how it seduces people into using the dangerous formulation and how it ended tragically to one consumer in particular:
Because of the widespread reaction to the exposition of Trump’s fallacious notions, he attempted to redefine what everyone heard and saw, as a “sarcastic remark” in response to reporters’ questions. Tellingly, however, Trump made the comments during a segment of the briefing when no questions were being fielded.
Trump’s supporters are rationalizing Trump’s irresponsible narrative as a “joke”. They claim he wasn’t literally considering the use of disinfectants consumed or applied internally, as a treatment, but was just being facetious.
If that actually is the case, in some ways, that is more disturbing. That would imply that Trump finds a health crisis that has now claimed tens of thousands of lives in this country, as mere fodder for dark humor.