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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Banned By Facebook, Anti-Vax Misinformer Moved To New Page

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

In November 2020, Facebook removed a page where Del Bigtree, a notorious anti-vaccine figure, broadcast his show -- The High Wire -- to a large online audience.

Bigtree's page was removed after Facebook determined that he violated the platform's policies against "misinformation that could cause physical harm." He had used his High Wire broadcast to claim that COVID-19 was "one of the most mild illnesses there is," that wearing a mask poses a serious health hazard, and that people should intentionally expose themselves to COVID-19, among other dangerous claims. Facebook's action came months after he was banned by YouTube, where he had also broadcast his show.

On February 8, The New York Times reported that Facebook says it will "remove posts with erroneous claims about vaccines from across its platform."

Bigtree continues to share dangerous medical misinformation on Facebook. After the platform banned The High Wire's page, he began to post dangerous medical misinformation on another page he operates. The page is not hard to find -- its name is "Del Bigtree."

On that page, Bigtree shares disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, including the baseless claim it will eventually kill half of its recipients. He also pushes dangerous falsehoods about COVID-19, including his suggestion that the disease doesn't actually exist. Some of Bigtree's dangerous claims on his Facebook page are documented below:

Bigtree Promoted Denial Of Coronavirus Fatalities

Bigtree's Facebook page shared a video from a January 6 Washington, D.C., event called the "Rally for Health Freedom." The event coincided with other rallies in Washington that day that culminated in a failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Bigtree was a speaker at the event and made a number of medically dangerous claims after asking the crowd, "Are people really dying" of COVID-19? Bigtree touted the widely promoted, but false, claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility and claimed that vaccine manufacturers are "murdering people."

He went on to engage in COVID-19 denial. Claiming "I don't think God messed up" in the creation of humans, Bigtree said, "I don't think there's some coronavirus that can override the brilliant immune system that is born into us" and that "99.99% of us are showing how great God's design is, because this virus does nothing to us." (More than 450,000 people in the United States have died from the disease.)

He then falsely called COVID-19 a "cold," and claimed that unlike quarantine measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, "we let the Spanish flu run its course, we let MERS run its course, we let SARS run its course" and "we all lived." (That is not what happened during those outbreaks, some of which killed many people.)

Saying that he stood with supporters of Donald Trump who refuse to wear masks and commenting on the size of his crowd, Bigtree also bragged that he has "been to more superspreader events than almost anyone I know" before falsely claiming that there is "no such thing as asymptomatic spread" of COVID-19.

Bigtree Shared Video Falsely Attributing Convulsions To COVID Vaccine

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Watch: Fox News’ Bartiromo Obsequiously Echoes Trump’s Election Lies

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo hosted President Donald Trump for an extended appearance on her show, where he told numerous lies as part of his democracy-undermining effort to claim that he actually won the 2020 presidential election. Bartiromo offered no pushback to Trump's lies, and in fact encouraged him to lie at length about the election.

Bartiromo, who is ostensibly part of Fox News's "news side" -- a distinction the channel claims exists between its anchors and opinion hosts -- is known for pushing conspiracy theories and propagandistic interviews of Trump.

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Militia Leader Threatens Violence In D.C. If Trump ‘Calls Us Up’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Oath Keepers militia leader Stewart Rhodes said that he has armed men on standby outside of Washington, D.C., to supposedly prevent the 2020 presidential election from being stolen from President Donald Trump. Echoing elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory during an appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' program, Rhodes said the only way to prevent his men from engaging in a "bloody fight" would be Trump declassifying information to supposedly expose pedophiles in the "deep state" and allow the president to stay in power.

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Militia Leader Says His ’Troops’ Will Appear Armed At Polling Places, Ready For ‘Civil War’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Oath Keepers militia leader Stewart Rhodes said members of his militia will be at polling locations on Election Day to "protect" Trump voters during an appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' program.

After making that claim, Rhodes made a number of unhinged statements, including saying Oath Keepers would follow directives from President Donald Trump to take members of the "deep state" into custody and "do what we have to do," that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act before the election, that Oath Keepers will "be in range" of Washington D.C., to stop a "Benghazi-style" attack on the White House on election night, and that a war will have to be fought against Democrats on the West Coast who are "bought" by the Chinese government. Rhodes also hyped the possibility of a second civil war where his "battle-hardened" supporters kill the "street soldiers" and "command and control" of "the radical left." He later claimed the United States is already in a civil war because "you have sitting politicians who are part of the enemy's ranks."

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For Truly Grotesque Hypocrisy, Meet The Judicial Crisis Network

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Judicial Crisis Network, the primary right-wing group involved in supporting or opposing judicial nominees, has released a hypocritical ad that calls for a nomination to be made to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and for the Republican Senate to quickly confirm the nominee.

In February 2016, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, JCN launched an ad campaign under the banner "Let the People Decide" that argued that the vacancy's proximity to the presidential election meant that it should be filled by that election's winner, rather than by then-President Barack Obama.

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Promoting Fake Conspiracies, Roger Stone Warns He Will 'Monitor' 2020 Voting

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Trump confidant Roger Stone is pushing conspiracy theories about voter fraud in the 2020 election and suggesting he might launch an effort to "carefully monitor" voting on Election Day.

Stone floated the plan in a September 14 article published on his website where he responded to widespread attention given to his claim that a Donald Trump victory would be the only legitimate outcome to the 2020 election and that if Trump loses, he should consider imposing martial law or using other draconian measures in order to stay in power.

Trump recently commuted a 40-month prison sentence that was handed down to Stone after he was convicted of lying to Congress and tampering with witnesses as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into 2016 election interference. Namely, Stone lied to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks, which released hacked emails with the aim of boosting Trump's prospects. In the weeks leading up to the commutation, Stone made a number of media appearances where he asked Trump to grant him clemency and said that in exchange, he could be a more effective campaigner for the president's 2020 reelection efforts.

In comments first reported by Media Matters, during a September 10 appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' Infowars outlet, Stone said that Trump should have federal authorities seize ballots in Nevada to prevent them from being counted in part because the state is "already flooded with illegals." He also said Trump should order FBI agents and Republican state officials to "physically" block voting on Election Day under the pretext of preventing voter fraud. And he urged the president to use claims of voter fraud to declare martial law or invoke the Insurrection Act in order to arrest people Stone baselessly accused of being involved in plans to steal the election from Trump. Evidence-free claims about early voting fraud have already led to right-wing protests in Nevada.

After those comments were widely criticized, Stone reiterated his claims in an article on his website Stone Cold Truth, where he wrote that "the Democrat Party has cheated at the ballot box for decades and how they plan on doing so again in 2020." He also claimed that "the Democrats plan to intimidate voters at the polling places through their alliances with Black Lives Matter and Antifa, as well as they are more traditional forms of election thievery including the manipulation of electronica voting machines, Double and Triple voting, the voting of ineligible illegal immigrants, not to mention those dead people will come back for an earthly visit only on election day" and urged supporters to "STOP THE STEAL."

Stone then called on the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign to "launch an effort to carefully monitor what happens in the electoral process" before writing that if those entities did not take action he would "have no choice but to do it in order to protect the integrity of our elections."

In 2016, Stone headed a tax-exempt 527 organization called Stop the Steal that repeatedly pushed baseless claims that Democrats would employ widespread voter fraud in order to steal the presidential election. Stop the Steal urged its supporters to act as "Vote Protectors" on Election Day by using "incendiary rhetoric to motivate members to turn up at contested areas tomorrow to participate in a survey of voters leaving polling places." Several Democratic groups filed lawsuits, leading an Ohio federal judge to issue an injunction prohibiting the group from participating in voter intimidation in that state.

And Stone interfered in the 2000 election. He was reportedly an organizer of the so-called "Brooks Brothers riot" during the 2000 presidential election that led to vote counting being suspended in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The disruption proved pivotal to George W. Bush becoming president.

Roger Stone Says If Trump Loses Election, He Should Seize Total Power

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Roger Stone is making baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and is urging Donald Trump to consider several draconian measures to stay in power, including having federal authorities seize ballots in Nevada, having FBI agents and Republican state officials "physically" block voting under the pretext of preventing voter fraud, using martial law or the Insurrection Act to carry out widespread arrests, and nationalizing state police forces.

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Roger Stone Accepts Trump Commutation On Alex Jones’ Infowars Show

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Roger Stone signed a document to accept the commutation of his prison sentence during a broadcast of far-right conspiracy theory program The Alex Jones Show. President Donald Trump commuted Stone's sentence on July 10, days before he was scheduled to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month sentence.

During his appearance, Stone also thanked several conservative media figures for cheerleading his commutation, which included Alex Jones ("who never abandoned me"), Fox News host Tucker Carlson ("the standout. … He pounded it at every turn of the case"), Fox News host Sean Hannity ("I believe he spoke to people in touch with the president, he may have even spoke to the president"), Fox News host Mark Levin, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Trump administration official Larry Kudlow.

While Stone will not have to go to prison, pay fines, or serve probation, he remains a convicted felon following his prosecution for lying to Congress, obstructing an official proceeding, and tampering with a witness. Prior to his commutation, Stone had been making right-wing media appearances urging Trump to grant him clemency so that he could be a more effective advocate for the president's 2020 reelection campaign.

During the July 14 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Stone joined Infowars head Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist perhaps most notorious for repeatedly claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax. During the episode, Stone said he was "going to do something very historic now, right here on the air on Infowars, I'm actually going to sign my acceptance of the commutation by the president of the United States." Stone signed the document and went on to compare his trial to "a lynching" and criticize the jurors who convicted him.

Stone was previously employed by Infowars and co-hosted a show called War Room with conspiracy theorist Owen Shroyer. Shroyer has also promoted Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, as well as coronavirus denial and claims that George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police was staged and his funeral was a "hoax." During Stone's trial, Infowars led efforts to attack and out the identities of jurors, and while the jury was deliberating, Jones broadcast a message from Stone asking Trump for a pardon. The judge overseeing the case later cited Infowars' efforts in a ruling to shield juror identities from the public to protect their safety.

During his appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone called for retribution against those who prosecuted him, singling out Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky for firing and prosecution. Zelinsky recently testified before a congressional committee that other people at the Justice Department told him that Stone was receiving preferential treatment in sentencing because of his longtime friendship with Trump.

Stone's commutation after being convicted of trying to hide Trump's own wrongdoing has been described as one of the most corrupt acts a president has ever engaged in. And now he's back to his 2016 election role of bolstering Trump to mainstream reporters:



Stone Posts Meme That Depicts Him Wielding Sword Against Judge

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

As Trump confidant Roger Stone serves home confinement while waiting to report to prison on July 14, he is using Instagram to attack Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge who oversees his case. Stone previously ran afoul of Jackson after he used his Instagram account to post a picture that showed Jackson next to apparent gun crosshairs.

The image Stone posted on Instagram on July 4 references the film 300, a fictionalized account of the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, which pitted a small number of Spartan warriors against Persian King Xerxes I.

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Roger Stone Asks Pardon So He Can Join Trump 2020 Campaign

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

As Roger Stone embarks on a virtual media tour from home confinement, he is repeatedly deploying a talking point that offers an incentive to President Donald Trump if he were to grant him a pardon. According to Stone, if Trump offers him clemency, he will be a more effective advocate for Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

In November, federal prosecutors secured a conviction against Stone on seven felony counts after he lied to Congress, obstructed an official proceeding, and engaged in witness tampering in an effort to shield Trump from fallout related to the dissemination of Russia-hacked emails during the 2016 election. Stone was sentenced to serve 40 months in prison, and after further legal wrangling, the judge ordered him on June 26 to begin home confinement and report to prison by July 14.

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Fox News Alarm Over Seattle Zone Contrasts With Friendly Coverage Of Bundy Gang

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

When Americans are at odds with the government, Fox News has a lot to say -- but which side Fox figures take in such cases seemingly depends on the politics and race of those involved.

As peaceful protests against police brutality and racism in the U.S. continue to unfold nationwide, Fox News has been laser-focused on demonizing the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), a recently formed six-block radius zone in Seattle, Washington, that is free of police. Fox has framed CHOP protesters as engaging in "anarchy," "outright insurrection," and an "occupation."

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Alex Jones Launches Assault On Vaccine Research

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

As scientists race to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, far-right conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer Alex Jones is urging his substantial audience to not take the yet-to-be-developed vaccine when it becomes available. In recent weeks, Jones has also claimed to have taken his conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and his attacks on vaccine-proponents Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci to White House advisers with the hope of influencing President Donald Trump, who himself has promoted false claims about vaccines and has praised Jones' "amazing" reputation.

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Conspiracist Alex Jones Launches Deranged Attack On Bill Gates

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has placed Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates at the center of a coronavirus-related globalist depopulation plot that Jones has suggested could be staved off if Gates is executed.

Gates is one of the most prominent public figures targeted by right-wing conspiracy theorists throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic. Over the last several decades, Gates has had major involvement in public health efforts, notably in the field of vaccinations. He has also been one of the more prominent voices warning about the possibility of a major global pandemic. More recently, Gates has pledged significant funding to the effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

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FDA Orders Alex Jones To Stop Selling Fake Virus ‘Prevention’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that instructs him to immediately stop selling products through his Infowars outlet that he has marketed as coronavirus preventatives.

The Daily Beast reported on the development on April 9, noting that Jones risks legal action if he does not comply:

The Food and Drug Administration is demanding that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones stop advertising dubious dietary supplements as coronavirus treatments and threatening legal action if he doesn't comply.
The FDA sent a letter to Jones and his website InfoWars on Thursday demanding that he stop telling the viewers of his popular internet broadcasts that they can ward off the virus with colloidal silver products sold on his website. Those videos, the FDA wrote, "misleadingly represent them as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19."
A failure to remove those claims, the agency added, "may result in legal action seeking a Federal District Court injunction and an order may require that you pay back money to consumers."
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Despite Warning, Alex Jones Persists In Anti-Virus Claims For Vitamin Supplements

Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is continuing to suggest that supplements he sells through his Infowars outlet offer protection against the 2019 novel coronavirus and, in recent days, has ramped up marketing for a multivitamin he sells called The Real Red Pill. On March 12, New York Attorney General Letitia James sent Jones a notice that ordered him “to immediately cease and desist selling and marketing products as a treatment or cure for the coronavirus.”

Since the cease-and-desist letter was sent, Jones has become more creative in his product pitches — employing wordplay and innuendo — but the conclusion remains inescapable that he is continuing to suggest that his products will help people with the 2019 coronavirus. 

After previously claiming that a colloidal silver toothpaste he sells “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point blank range” and that other other Infowars Store products are coronavirus preventatives, Jones is now seeking to take advantage of people looking to purchase zinc, which is an ingredient in The Real Red Pill supplement he sells. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19” and “the best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.” A March 23 New York Times article about a surge of consumer interest in zinc and other dietary supplements noted, “None of these products have been shown to lower the likelihood of contracting the coronavirus or shortening its course, and taking large doses of them can potentially do harm.”

Marketing information about The Real Red Pill at the Infowars Store describes it as a “heart and brain formula” that was “designed specifically and exclusively for Infowars Life” to “support healthy aging and cognitive function.” A bottle of 120 pills costs $39.95. According to an image of the supplement bottle, a dose of two pills contains 15 milligrams of zinc, which the bottle lists as 100% of the daily recommended amount. The marketing page includes the disclaimer that “this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,” but Jones has repeatedly suggested the product offers some benefit against COVID-19 in product pitches during his broadcasts.

During a March 21 broadcast aired on Infowars streaming platform Banned.video, Jones used wordplay to suggest that The Real Red Pill would help treat the coronavirus. Claiming that “big drug companies” want The Real Red Pill “banned because of what it does for so many people on so many fronts,” Jones said, “And I want to be infinity clear: It is not meant to treat or diagnose the novel coronavirus.” He then paused for a moment and said, “And oxygen is not meant to let humans live.” Jones then suggested that the ingredients in The Real Red Pill prevent viral infections rather than treating or curing them, claiming, “When you don’t have enough of it and you’re deficient, that’s how the viruses get in.”

The video has been viewed more than 200,000 times and its description includes a link to the Infowars Store product page for The Real Red Pill. 

During the March 22 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones claimed that unnamed people don’t want the general public to know that zinc is an antiviral and that taking it also supposedly lowers by 90% the chance of getting “all these different cancers.” Jones then started pitching The Real Red Pill, noting that he had asked his staff recently “why isn’t it in the bestseller list” considering it contains “a big nice dose” of zinc. He went on to say that zinc is not a “silver bullet” but that according to a microbiologist he talked to, taking zinc means viruses “can’t go into the cells as easy and order the mitochondria to mass produce the viruses, and it coats the cell.” Later in the show Jones again pitched The Real Red Pill, noting “it’s sold out pretty much everywhere” and said, “You need to take [zinc] before you come into contact of these type of things.” Later on, Jones explicitly connected zinc to lessening the severity of the novel coronavirus outbreak, saying, “The media won’t tell you, the globalists won’t tell you about zinc. They won’t tell you because they don’t want you to know. They want this to be as bad as it can.”

From the March 22, 2020, edition of Infowars’ The Alex Jones Show

During his March 23 broadcast, Jones touted hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has been promoted by President Donald Trump, even though it has not been approved by the FDA to treat the novel coronavirus. According to a recent small study, the drug “was no more effective than conventional care” in treating the 2019 coronavirus. Jones however claimed that the drug is “pretty much a cure” for the novel coronavirus and “helps almost everybody.” Claiming that hydroxychloroquine works by forcing “your body to push zinc into the cells,” Jones then touted The Real Red Pill and claimed that it also works by “pushing all of that into your body.”

In recent days, Banned.video has been running a banner ad for The Real Red Pill that appears above all videos encouraging viewers to “add a boost of zinc & pregnenolone to your daily routine.” This means that Jones can tout the supposed benefits of zinc against the novel coronavirus without explicitly saying the name of his product. For example, later during his March 23 broadcast, Jones claimed that “there are things out there that massively, massively mitigate this virus” before adding, “but you’ve got to have the zinc in your body” at triple the daily recommended dose “before you come in contact with it or other viruses.”

In addition to a banner ad for The Real Red Pill that ran above the video, the video’s description includes a link to purchase The Real Red Pill Plus, which is similar to The Real Red Pill, including the amount of zinc per dose, but with the addition of “a NEW energy-boosting combination.”

In addition to leaning heavily into the promotion of The Real Red Pill in recent days, Jones has also pitched a colloidal silver “wound gel” sold at the Infowars Store that Jones claimed on his March 22 broadcast “creates a shield on your hands” that is longer lasting than the protection against coronavirus offered by alcohol in hand sanitizers.

NY Attorney General Orders Alex Jones To End COVID-19 ‘Cure’ Fraud

Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claimed during a broadcast that a nanosilver toothpaste he sells kills coronavirus and that his claim is backed up by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.”

The Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and two state attorneys general have begun taking action against individuals who have made similar claims in selling coronavirus-related products.

Following the outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus in December, Jones has used his media outlet Infowars to promote products from the Infowars online store to his supporters, including pushing conspiracy theories to sell bulk food packages at inflated prices and claiming that the supplements he sells will stop the spread of coronavirus.

Jones made the toothpaste claim during the March 10 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, which streams online and is carried by radio stations throughout the country. He said, “I’m just going to tell you that for just your daily life and your gums and your teeth for regular viruses and bacteria, the patented nanosilver we have, the Pentagon has come out and documented and Homeland Security has said this stuff kills the whole SARS-corona family at point blank range.” Jones went on to claim that his toothpaste “kills every virus” and that “the Pentagon uses the product we have.”

Jones was referencing the “Superblue Fluoride-Free Toothpaste” he sells. The product page claims it is “a revolutionary new toothpaste blend with iodine and Nano Silver designed to deliver a powerful clean while supporting good oral health and fresh breath.” Contrary to Jones’ suggestion on air that the toothpaste is a coronavirus preventative measure, the product page includes a disclaimer that reads: “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.” During his broadcast, Jones urged listeners to buy the “Superblue” toothpaste, as well as a whitening toothpaste, saying, “Those are both excellent, they are at InfowarsStore.com, they’re still discounted despite all the hell breaking loose.”Video fileVideo Player00:0001:41SHARE

CitationFrom the March 10, 2020, edition of Infowars’ The Alex Jones Show

ALEX JONES (HOST): I’m not going to belabor this, I’m just going to tell you that for just your daily life and your gums and your teeth for regular viruses and bacteria, the patented nanosilver we have, the Pentagon has come out and documented and Homeland Security has said this stuff kills the whole SARS-corona family at point blank range. Well of course it does, it kills every virus. But they found that. This is 13 years ago. And the Pentagon uses the product we have. And the product we have in private label is about to be in Walmart, coming up. They’ve just ordered a massive crap ton, not the one they have, but this even better one that we have. So I’m just saying we’re always cutting edge, thank to God. I just go with the research, go with the spirit and we always have it. The nanosilver toothpaste in the Superblue with the tea tree and the iodine that’s — the Superblue is amazing. And then we have the whitening toothpaste that has the nanosilver and a lot more as well. Those are both excellent, they are at InfowarsStore.com, they’re still discounted despite all the hell breaking loose. 

We have storable food in stock, but we have to package it and it’s six to eight weeks behind shipping it out to you. Other people will lie to you, got big old Pinnochio noses, we’re not, that’s what’s going on. You want storable food, you want to get it delivered? This thing if it is super bad peaks in about 12 weeks in the U.S. the model shows, so you’ll get your food. InfowarsStore.com. And it’s high quality, it’s very low priced. They haven’t raised prices yet but I’m told it’s next week.

Despite Jones’ claims, nanosilver — which is another name for colloidal silver — is not broadly accepted as an antiviral cure-all. As a 2013 survey of the use of nanosilver in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives explained, “Despite its widespread use, nanosilver remains a fairly poorly understood material to both regulators and scientists. Consensus remains elusive on subjects as essential as how it behaves in the human body and the environment, and the extent to which its use may contribute to bacterial resistance.” A 2018 article in the peer-reviewed Molecules journal specifically looked at claims about nanosilver’s antiviral potential. The article concluded, “The understanding of antiviral mechanism of [silver nanoparticles] is still in its early stages; hence, further studies are needed to explore the mechanisms of action of [silver nanoparticles], which may render the conceivable antiviral development of [silver nanoparticles] to fill the vital niche of a wide range of antiviral agents.” In terms of the use of nanosilver in supposed health products, the Mayo Clinic warns, “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.” 

Additionally, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office is suing televangelist Jim Bakker for marketing a colloidal silver product he sells as a preventive measure to coronavirus. The lawsuit, which is asking a court to enjoin Bakker from selling the product, alleges that he is “falsely promising to consumers that Silver Solution can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate coronavirus and/or boost elderly consumers’ immune systems when there is, in fact, no vaccine, potion, pill, potion or other product available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019.”

During a March 7 video that was posted to Infowars’ video streaming platform, Jones claimed that using the toothpaste, as well as a supplement he sells for nearly $90 called DNA Force Plus, was the “answer” to the spread of coronavirus. 

After pitching toothpaste as a coronavirus killer during his March 10 broadcast, Jones urged viewers to also buy bulk food from the Infowars Store, warning the prices are set to increase soon. Media Matters previously documented that in recent weeks, Infowars Store more than doubled the price of the bulk food packages it sells, with the most expensive package now costing nearly $3,000. 

Jones made the claim about his toothpaste during the same broadcast that he announced that he had been arrested the previous evening under suspicion of driving while intoxicated. According to police documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Jones’ wife called the police to report a “family disturbance” that was “only verbal but earlier in the day it ‘was physical.’” The police had located Jones and pulled him over for speeding, discovering a “strong odor of alcohol coming from his person.”

Update (3/12/20): Reached for comment on Jones’ claims, a spokesperson from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent Media Matters a statement that said the agency “is aware of claims made by Alex Jones regarding supplements claiming to cure COVID-19” and that “generally, the FDA does not discuss compliance or enforcement matters, except with the party involved”:

The FDA is aware of claims made by Alex Jones regarding supplements claiming to cure COVID-19. Generally, the FDA does not discuss compliance or enforcement matters, except with the party involved.

To date the FDA has issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products and the agency intend to take further action – including but not limited to WLs – as appropriate. The FDA and FTC will continue to monitor social media, online marketplaces and incoming complaints to help ensure that the companies do not continue to sell fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Update (3/12/20): Bloomberg News reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James has initiated an investigation into Jones’ claim that his nanosilver toothpaste “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range.” James subsequently called on Jones to “immediately cease and desist selling and marketing products as a treatment or cure for the coronavirus.”  

Alex Jones Seeks To Profit From Coronavirus Fears

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Far-right conspiracy theory outlet Infowars has been aggressively hawking bulk food packages at inflated prices while spreading wild conspiracy theories about the coronavirus outbreak. Since December, the price of bulk food at Infowars' online store has more than doubled with the biggest package costing nearly $3,000.

On December 31, China announced an outbreak of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that started in Wuhan City, with the first known case dating back to December 1. The disease has since spread beyond China and is currently present in 53 countries, including the United States, and has stricken more than 83,000 people.

Infowars is selling bulk food at recently increased prices

As the virus continues to spread, and a pandemic becomes more likely, Alex Jones is using Infowars to panic his viewers while also trying to profit from them.

Infowars operates InfowarsStore.com, which sells dietary supplements, apparel, firearm accessories, and bulk food. The page for bulk food has been using the coronavirus outbreak as a sales hook. A video ad has appeared at times on the store's "emergency survival foods" page with the title, "EMERGENCY SURVIVAL FOODS: Coronavirus Clearance Sale." In the video, Jones urges viewers to buy Infowars bulk food packages, claiming that other sellers are sold out, but that Infowars can ship within seven to 10 days. (When accessed on February 28, the Infowars Store now says "Shipping WILL be delayed on many orders, potentially 6-8 weeks or more in rare cases.")

In the advertisement, Jones explicitly references coronavirus, saying, "I noticed there were reports that food prices in general were going to be going up because of the crisis in China and surrounding areas and with how deadly this coronavirus is" and claims, "This is the lowest price you're going to find anywhere, even when it's at its regular price." He also suggests that buyers should act before it is too late, saying, "You can feel it in your bones, big stuff is coming down, whether it's coronavirus or something else, now is the time to get prepared and I suggest folks get their storable food at InfowarsStore.com while you still can."

Jones urges buyers to consider large purchases, saying, "I personally have ordered more storable food just last week because I have to be able to take care of not just myself but my neighbors, because believe me, hungry starving neighbors are not a good thing to have and so it's simple: You better hide your food or you better have extra." During the video, Infowars packages with prices up to $2,987.00 are shown.

Since December, the Infowars store has more than doubled the price of its largest package, "Infowars Life Select: 1 Year." On December 21, the package was being sold for $1443.50. The price increased to $1,594 by January 23. By January 30, the price had increased to $2,987, and the page was displaying the "EMERGENCY SURVIVAL FOODS: Coronavirus Clearance Sale" video.

Infowars broadcasts are filled with aggressive sales pitches for bulk food

Coronavirus has been a near-constant topic of discussion on Infowars' various broadcasts. According to a search of Infowars' online streaming platform Banned.video, at least 145 videos have been posted since January 22 that reference the outbreak in their titles. Of these, 127 were published after Infowars released its "EMERGENCY SURVIVAL FOODS: Coronavirus Clearance Sale" ad for bulk food on January 27.

Sales pitches that appear in Infowars content are aggressive. They play on fears of food shortages, emphasize the need to make immediate and large orders, and fearmonger about the prospect of societal collapse and cannibalism. Among some of the on-air pitches:

  • On February 27, Jones posted a video with an "emergency announcement about storable foods" in which he announced shipping delays and then said "the lord works in mysterious ways" before crediting the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent bulk food sales for helping Infowars' finances.
  • During a February 25 broadcast, Infowars contributor Mike Adams pitched Infowars bulk food, telling viewers to buy Infowars bulk food right now because "if the CDC is briefing the Senate right now today — if they tell the Senate this is uncontained in America, that news could come out three hours from now and then it's too late. You won't be able to order anything." As Adams made the pitch, the camera cut to stacks of Infowars bulk food products displayed in the Infowars studio.
  • In a February 18 video with the title How To Prepare For A Coronavirus Lockdown In The U.S., Jones raised the prospect of cannibalism during a food crisis, saying that "within about 15 days, most people become cannibals" immediately before pitching Infowars bulk food, which was shown stacked in the studio.
  • In a February 12 video about "the natural components that can easily be used to combat viral infection," Jones pitched Infowars bulk food, saying, "I am very sad about this virus and very sad about the bioweapons and things that are going on, but it is an opportunity for people to take advantage of the products we have." During his pitch Jones said the Infowars warehouse is full of "safes with guns and folks trained to use them" and said, "We got food, we got guts, we got red blood, we'll kick your ass if you attack us." He also said: "With me, it's religious not to screw you over."
  • In an Infowars bulk food ad that appeared on a February 2 video about "possible solutions for those who seek to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic," Jones said, "Last week there I was ordering masks and more food and then I didn't even come on air and do it myself, because there was that feeling of like, 'Well I'm pushing it during a crisis.' Of course we should promote this during a crisis, it's all more reason to get prepared and get ready." Jones urged viewers to order food within the next four or five days to avoid price increases.
  • On January 29, Jones hosted Keith Bansemer, the president of My Patriot Supply, the company that provides Infowars with the bulk food that it sells under its own label. A video of the segment was published with the title "EXCLUSIVE: D.O.D. Buying Up American Food Supplies For Coronavirus Outbreak." Bansemer claimed that the Department of Defense is repeatedly calling him trying to buy food, but that he has refused. Throughout the segment, Jones and Bansemer promoted their respective bulk food products.

Infowars is seeking to instill fear in its audience

Infowars streaming platform Banned.video has been carrying a banner advertisement for Infowars brand bulk foods.

Banned.video banner ad 2

And the videos that are paired with this ad appear designed to maximize fear about the coronavirus outbreak. Here are some of the more sensational titles of Infowars videos related to coronavirus:

  • "Violent Leftists In A Coronavirus Quarantine Would Collapse Society"
  • "How Globalists Justify Releasing the Coronavirus Bioweapon"
  • "Lancet Model Predicts Hundreds Of Millions Dead From Coronavirus Outbreak"
  • "Was Coronavirus Intended To Be Primer For Chinese Invasion Of America?"
  • "Bioweapons Expert: Coronavirus Is Super Biological Weapon Never Encountered Before"
  • "MSM Tries To Suppress Evidence That HIV Delivery System Is Embedded In Coronavirus"
  • "Countdown: Top Ten Ways Coronavirus Will Be Used to Usher In Global Government"

The conspiracy theories Infowars is pushing to sell its bulk food

Infowars has been spreading ever-evolving conspiracy theories about coronavirus, pushing other falsehoods, and making dire predictions about the outbreak. Initially, Infowars broadcasts pushed a conspiracy theory that coronavirus was designed in a lab and was accidentally released, but more recently the overarching conspiracy theory is that coronavirus is a bioweapon that was created by China and/or the "globalists" and was purposefully released in an effort to control and depopulate the planet. Here are a few of the various conspiracy theories and fearmongering:

  • While guest hosting the February 26 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Infowars contributor Mike Adams claimed that the Centers for Disease Control is "setting a trap for Trump" by exacerbating the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. The end of the segment was an ad for Infowars bulk food.
  • During the February 24 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, a video was played which Adams claimed showed residents of Wuhan en masse screaming in terror. In fact, the residents were shouting encouragement to each other. Adams used his false account of the video to make claims about what would happen if there were coronavirus quarantines in the U.S., saying, "When you take these deranged lunatic violent leftists, who are already mentally ill … and you add a quarantine to that, what's going to happen to their state of mental health? What are they then willing to do in terms of violence or looting or murder or killing or rape or pedophilia or all the things that they do almost on an everyday basis anyway? Add the coronavirus to that, you start looking at the downfall of society." The segment included a coronavirus-themed pitch for Infowars bulk food.
  • In a video published on February 21, Infowars contributor Greg Reese claimed "experts tell us the virus was weaponized in a lab, and while nobody disputes this fact, the mainstream media hide it." The video ended with an Infowars Store ad urging viewers to buy bulk food and other products.
  • In a February 20 video, Adams said, "We're going to get into the heads of the globalists here to try to understand what they are thinking when they released this global pandemic and engineered this weapon against human beings, the Wuhan coronavirus."
  • During a February 17 broadcast, Infowars host Owen Shroyer promoted the conspiracy theory that coronavirus was designed by China as part of a U.S. invasion plot. The segment ended with a promotion for Infowars bulk food.
  • During the February 17 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones suggested that coronavirus was a bioweapon created by globalists so governments "can use the smokescreen of the crisis to expand their control." The segment ended with a pitch for Infowars bulk food.
  • During his February 7 broadcast, Jones claimed that coronavirus is "a race-specific bioweapon" that was released by the Chinese government.
  • During his February 6 broadcast, Jones devoted a segment to claiming that coronavirus is a bioweapon designed by China to attack the west. The segment concluded with a coronavirus-themed ad for Infowars bulk food.
  • During a February 4 Infowars broadcast, Adams claimed that globalists designed coronavirus by combining HIV and SARs. Moments later, Infowars broadcast a coronavirus-themed Infowars bulk food ad.
  • During the February 4 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Jones suggested that maybe even President Donald Trump was involved in the creation of the coronavirus, but that "maybe it's a complex false flag to blame America down the road." After Jones finished his comments, a coronavirus-themed ad for Infowars bulk food was broadcast.
  • During a February 2 Infowars broadcast, Adams hyped a scenario in which people in Mexico become infected with coronavirus and then flee to "sanctuary cities" in the United States causing a massive outbreak. The segment ended with a coronavirus-themed ad for Infowars bulk food.

How Alex Jones is taking advantage of his audience

People are right to be concerned about coronavirus, but Jones and Infowars are attempting to profit from panic that they create. Writing in Scientific American, Zeynep Tufekci argued that the way to stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus is through practicing "community-wide isolation" where outbreaks are present and taking actions — including getting a flu shot, regularly washing your hands, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, not touching your face, and, if in a position of authority, allowing workers to work from home or make up the time later. Such steps, according to Tufekci, reduce the risk for people to get infected — by coronavirus or other diseases like the common flu — and will lower the burden on the healthcare system, so it can better treat vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

In her article, Tufekci criticizes tactics like the ones used by Jones, writing, "There is no shortage of snake oil sellers who hope stoking such fears will make people buy more supplies: years' worth of ready-to-eat meals, bunker materials and a lot more stuff in various shades of camo." Instead, Tufekci says the way to prepare for the possibility of self-isolation is to "buy two or three weeks' worth of shelf-stable food that you would eat anyway, and be done; this could include canned food like beans and vegetables, pasta, rice, cereals or oats, oils/fats, nuts and dried fruits" and to have potable water on hand.

That won't cost you $3,000.