Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is touting the “great antivirals” that he sells as “literally a stopgap” measure against the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Ever since the outbreak of a novel coronavirus was first reported in late December, Jones has largely devoted coverage at his Infowars outlet to promoting conspiracy theories about the disease. In particular, Jones had been using his coronavirus conspiracy theories and claims that the disease will cause society to collapse -- leading people to resort to cannibalism -- to sell bulk food at his online store. Media Matters previously documented that the price of bulk food packages at the Infowars store has doubled in recent weeks, with the most expensive package now costing nearly $3,000.
Jones is now linking coronavirus preventative measures to the supplements that he sells. On March 7, Infowars’ video platform Banned.video posted an “emergency report” from Jones about the spread of coronavirus in which he said that “having antivirals, getting your immune system healthy, that is the answer.” He then said: “And yes, folks, we sell great antivirals like DNA Force Plus or great other systems out there that empower the mitochondrial DNA. And our SilverSol products like the Superblue toothpaste and other products. That is literally a stopgap against this.” The video has been viewed more than 350,000 times.
InfowarsStore.com describes DNA Force Plus as a product to “support optimal energy levels while adapting your body to handle the daily bombardment of toxins it’s exposed to.” The page also claims it will “overhaul your body's cellular engine.” A bottle of 120 capsules sells for nearly $90. The product page carries the following disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” But in Jones’ video, he explicitly linked DNA Force Plus to preventing the spread of coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.”
SilverSol is the brand name for a type of colloidal silver that is sold at the Infowars Store. Like DNA Force Plus, the Infowars toothpaste product page has a disclaimer that the “product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” While the Infowars Store ties colloidal silver to immune system support, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Colloidal silver isn't considered safe or effective for any of the health claims manufacturers make. Silver has no known purpose in the body.”
The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission recently sent warning letters to several companies “accusing them of marketing illegal, unapproved drugs and making deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims” in coronavirus-related product pitches, The Washington Post reported. According to an FDA and FTC press release, “The products cited in these warning letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver.” As FTC Chairman Joe Simons explained, “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.”