Nursing & Healthcare News

Cracking Down on Fraudulent Coronavirus Claims

Colloidal silver and eucalyptus radiata do not cure or prevent COVID-19

Have you recently seen family members or acquaintances share dubious claims about fighting COVID-19 with essential oils, colloidal silver or herbal tea? The FDA and FTC have seen those assertions too — and issued stern warning letters to several vendors.

Unsupported Claims

The FDA declares unequivocally, “There are currently no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

Both the CDC and the World Health Organization agree. Nevertheless, some companies are making grandiose promises about how their products can protect against or even cure coronavirus infections.

Nursing Education

For example, Quinessence says that essential oils like eucalyptus radiata have “powerful anti-viral and antiseptic properties.” Televangelist Jim Bakker has asserted that his “Silver Solution” colloidal silver product has “been tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours.”

The FDA and FTC are none too happy about such claims. Since there are as yet no approved drugs for COVID-19, advertising that a product can protect against or cure the disease violates federal law. FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., calls such products “fraudulent” and “a threat to the public health.”

“Preying on Consumers”

On March 6, the FDA and FTC sent warning letters to seven businesses, including Quinessence and “The Jim Bakker Show,” demanding that they immediately cease stating that their products are effective against COVID-19.

“What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims,” says FTC Chairman Joe Simons.

Missouri’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt, has already taken more aggressive action. Missouri recently sued “The Jim Bakker Show,” alleging that its unsupported assertions about Silver Solution violate state laws against misleading advertising.


Aaron Severson is a freelance writer, editor, and writing consultant as well as the associate editor of Working Nurse.


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