Quack author David Wolfe, whose website describes him as “the rock star and Indiana Jones of the superfoods and longevity universe,” has been falsely peddling “coated silver” as a way to gain “immunity” against the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have been sending warning letters to companies that promote their products as being able to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.
Wolfe, who uses the nickname “Avocado,” is a writer, social media influencer, and supposed health expert. In addition to describing him as a rock star and Indiana Jones, his website claims that “the world’s top CEOs, ambassadors, celebrities, athletes, artists, and the real superheroes of this planet—Moms—all look to David for expert advice in health, beauty, herbalism, nutrition, and chocolate!” Wolfe has over 12 million Facebook followers and more than 377,000 Instagram followers. However, he directs people to find his coronavirus views on the messaging app Telegram, which he says that he prefers because of alleged “censorship” on other platforms.
Scientist Yvette d’Entremont penned a 2017 profile of Wolfe which noted that he’s a quack and a fraud. She wrote:
Wolfe has a lot of funny beliefs for someone who calls himself an expert. Wolfe has stated that mushrooms arrived on our planet via the cosmic wind. He tells his followers vaccines are a conspiracy, and believes that chemtrails are real. The question isn’t whether he’s full of shit, it’s whether you get sucked in to buy whatever he’s selling, from something called “blue butterfly powder” to a nifty contraption called The Zapper. He’s also been embroiled in some nasty legal battles.
If Wolfe’s selling it, turn around. Shut down your computer and never turn it on again. He is evidence that stupidity and lies can spread like a virus on social media, and the best thing you can do is inoculate yourself with knowledge.
Wolfe is now selling a “coated silver” concentrate for $137 through his website DavidWolfe.com. (The product appears to be produced by the Wyoming-based company Noble Elements.) Wolfe’s company Chaga Inc., which is registered in Hawaii, operates his website.
In recent months, Wolfe has been pushing his silver product as his main recommendation to defend against the coronavirus. Writer Dean Sterling Jones noted Wolfe’s coronavirus marketing in an April 19 piece on his website.
On March 29, Wolfe’s YouTube channel posted a video advertising his silver product as “my #1 Recommendation under the Current Crisis.” Wolfe posted the video on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, along with the “#1 Recommendation under the Current Crisis” wording. (Wolfe posted the video to Telegram and wrote that it is “my #1 Recommendation” and excluded the “current crisis” wording.)
Wolfe also held a virtual “Immunity Summit” which supposedly offered the “best immune system tips and strategies to protect you and your family” for “the ‘Corona Virus epidemic’ and for all your remaining years of life,” according to a Wolfe-penned email to people signing up for the summit. He also wrote that he “put together a Corona Virus Protocol” and linked to a document promoting various supplements he sells, including the coated silver.
In a video for his “Immunity Summit,” Wolfe promoted his supposed “coronavirus protocol” and said that “the number one recommendation that I have and that I've put together in this immunity protocol is the coated silver.” He later added that people should take a drop of silver with water so that they can supposedly have “some defenses against the coronavirus.” Wolfe has also used his Telegram account to promote his “immunity protocol for the current corona virus situation.” Wolfe is also running Facebook advertisements for the “Immunity Summit.” (Grifters have frequently promoted supposed coronavirus cures and preventatives on Facebook, which has said it does not allow such practices on its site.)
On April 22, Wolfe claimed on Telegram that coated silver treated his friend who caught COVID-19, writing: “You've heard the buzz. Latest is, my friend caught whatever CoVID-19 is at a hospital in Tijuana helping doctors there. He took 10 drops of Coated Silver and massive amounts of Medicinal Mushrooms and completely recovered in 24 hours. That was 3 days ago. #CoatedSilver.” He then linked to his silver product page.
On May 5, Wolfe appeared on The Robert Scott Bell Show and pitched his silver as a coronavirus preventative, stating: “I take my coated silver, I do a coated silver drop every day. I brush my teeth with coated silver so it’s always in my mouth. ... When you have those protocols in place, then none of these really, they're really quite weak viruses. They’re not going to affect you. I mean, that's one thing we can say that we've learned about the coronavirus is that they’re weak, they’re destroyed so easily, but you really have to be weakened for them to get a hold of you.”
Media Matters has documented numerous media personalities and outlets that have been pushing coronavirus-related scams and grifts.