The latest coronavirus “cure”? The toxic compound oleandrin, found in the poisonous plant, oleander. “ALL PARTS OF THIS PLANT ARE HIGHLY TOXIC AND MAY BE FATAL,” according to a North Carolina State University Extension website. So who’s proclaiming this as a COVID treatment? Certainly not a scientist or health expert, but none other than the MyPillow Guy, a staple of late-night infomercials. Founder and CEO of MyPillow, Inc., Mike Lindell, recently proposed this substance to President Trump as a treatment option for those with coronavirus, prompting the president to recommend approval by the FDA. However, not only does Lindell sit on the board of the company that develops the substance, Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc., he’s also a big Trump backer.
That a well-known poisonous plant is even being considered a treatment option by the president of a country with the highest number of COVID cases by far, is illuminating, to say the very least. Claims that oleandrin can cure coronavirus are unfounded, and experts say ingestion of the toxic shrub could be deadly. But when an entertainment icon, known for his crazy antics and monumentally disastrous business ventures, is capable of becoming the leader of the wealthiest country on earth, what’s to stop a famous salesman from raking in cash from a phony COVID cure?
In the age of alternative facts and alternative science, it’s no wonder treatments with no scientific backing can make it to the national stage. Do you have the wealth to advertise? Do you have the right political connections? Then you may just be the next snake oil salesman all of America is talking about.