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9 August 2020
FITTER. BETTER. HAPPIER.
NIH/Victor Tangermann

Arkansas Sues Televangelist for Selling Fake COVID-19 Cure

"Let me be clear, this case is not about freedom of religion."
by Dan Robitzski / June 17 2020

The state of Arkansas is suing famed televangelist Jim Bakker for selling useless, made-up cures for COVID-19.

In February, Bakker and Sherril Sellman, a guest on his TV show, advertised a colloidal silver solution that they claimed could eliminate coronaviruses from the human body within 12 hours, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

Needless to say, colloidal silver, which describes any solution in which silver is suspended in a liquid, has no impact on COVID-19 or any other coronavirus — so Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge is suing on the basis of consumer fraud.

Since the segment, Bakker has sold 385 units of the modern snake oil for over $60,000 in total.

The lawsuit comes just a week after Bakker sued Arkansas, Los Angeles City, and two California counties, all of which demanded access to Bakker’s sales records and details of his supporters’ financial contributions. Bakker argued that, as a televangelist, the government probing his records would be a violation of his religious freedom.

In her statement, Rutledge said that Bakker exploited Arkansas consumers by selling them “products that do nothing to fight the virus.”

“Let me be clear, this case is not about freedom of religion,” she added, according to Springfield News-Leader. “This is a consumer fraud case, and I urge any Arkansans who have experience with these false advertisements claiming silver to be a COVID-19 cure to immediately call my office.”

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