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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

COVID-19FeaturesHealthNews and information

This Week in Corona Scams: Mask Your Face (Not the Truth)

This Week in “Corona Scams”, we’re taking on some very important matters. Do you have a constitutional right to spread COVID-19 everywhere? (No.) Do the “realest of real” medical experts advise against wearing masks? (No.) And can extra special beads really cure us? (Hells to the no!)

One more reminder why we charge so hard against the “Corona Scams”

Earlier this week, The Washington Post ran a very timely article detailing how Americans are trying to figure out what to do when they don’t know who to believe. Of course, this right here explains why we debunk “Corona Scams” on these pages, and why many other news outlets and nonprofit organizations are doing everything possible to disseminate accurate information.

In The Post’s story, we learn of someone who decided not to bother wearing a mask because game show host turned far-right “social media influencer” Chuck Woolery tweeted, “Masks are nothing more than a symbol of capitulation,” on July 12. Chuck Woolery deactivated his own Twitter account three days later, then he revealed his son’s COVID-19 diagnosis this past Monday.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump “changed his tone” on COVID-19 and finally echoed his own administration’s public health experts in recommending the use of masks. Yet just last week, Trump retweeted Woolery’s anti-mask rant. As we’ve been saying around these parts for the last four months, and as Jonathan Chait goes into further detail in New York Magazine, the complete breakdown in the (especially federal) government’s response to this pandemic has led to disastrous consequences, including more and more of the American public becoming so disillusioned that they’re turning to bona fide scammers for solutions.

Once more, with feeling: Mask your mouth (and nose), not the truth.

With Trump and his campaign turning the COVID-19 pandemic into yet another “culture war” battlefront, we continue to drown in the “Conspira-sea”. In April, Drs. Dan Erikson and Artin Massihi misrepresented a very limited set of numbers from their own Bakersfield urgent care clinics as “proof” that their anti-lockdown rhetoric had any value. In July, we have Dr. Kelly Victory misrepresenting data on asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus carriers in claiming that COVID-19 is a “mild disease in the vast majority of people.” 

While COVID-19’s overall mortality rate may hover around 1% of those infected, that’s a far higher mortality rate than the common flu that “corona truthers” love to compare this disease to. While seniors face the greatest risk of severe illness and death, COVID-19 attacks people of all ages. And contrary to how “the mask debate” is portrayed on social media and on cable TV, the growing scientific consensus points to the real efficacy of face coverings in inhibiting further spread of COVID-19.

While Kelly Victory’s happy talk might help Donald Trump feel better about his premature declarations of “victory over the virus”, it’s not based in real science. And while we’re at it, neither the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) nor the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or for that matter the Fourth or Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, provides any kind of right for people to walk around maskless whenever and wherever they want. While it’s patently illegal for mysterious federal agents to attack people exercising their constitutionally protected free speech rights, it’s perfectly legal for a private business to ask someone to leave the store if that someone refuses to respect other people’s wishes to remain COVID-free.

There’s no one “quick fix” here. It’s a much larger problem that we must address.

Again, there are very real consequences to the absolute vacuum of “small d democratic” leadership (as opposed to the continually overflowing fountain of fascism). While Trump continues his war on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, the WHO (World Health Organization), and other relevant public health experts, far too many Americans turn to cranks and quacks like those at AAPS who peddle Plandemic level propaganda under the cloak of “professional respectability”. 

Of course, it doesn’t help when media outlets give false equivalency to such anti-science extremists by giving them equal time with actual medical experts. It doesn’t help when a major political party merges with an extremist conspiracy cult that’s dead-set on spreading deadly propaganda. And yes, it really doesn’t help when “Big Tech” conglomerates look the other way, or even worse – actively participate, in spreading dangerous propaganda in order to profit off it.

It’s easy for us to point and laugh at how wild these and other “Corona Scams” are. It’s much harder to look at ourselves, each other, and our society at large as we examine why so many “Corona Scams” have taken off.

Oh, and one more thing: Some “Corona Scam” updates!

Since we took care of that business, let’s do some status updates on our favorite “Corona Scam” repeat offenders. Yes, that one Younique distributor we call “KM” still shills for “BS Beads”. Even worse, during a live stream earlier this week, “KM” again claimed that certain “BS Beads” cure COVID-19. And even worse, the “BS Beads” company account chimed in the comments to recommend specific beads for arthritis, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, weight loss, and more. Needless to say, “crystal/energy healing” has no actual medical science to back it up.

Now that this is suddenly feeling “Goopy”, let’s check in on everyone’s favorite celebrity “wellness hub”. On one hand, Goop has been very careful in its COVID-19 coverage ever since (now former) contributor Kelly Brogan began spreading false conspiracy theories elsewhere. On the other, Goop continues to promote “alternative medicine” like “ear seed acupuncture” and “astrology to release shame”. Meanwhile, Kelly Brogan continues to peddle anti-science propaganda all over the internet, just as she was when she was still affiliated with Goop.


And finally, we have Jim Bakker. Following the media firestorm surrounding his shilling of “Silver Solution” as a “coronavirus cure”, Bakker suffered a stroke in May, then returned to his TV show earlier this month to announce a new online streaming channel. Meanwhile, the states of Missouri and Arkansas filed suit against Bakker after New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sent a “cease and desist” letter ordering Bakker to stop marketing “Silver Solution” as any kind of COVID-19 cure or treatment. While Bakker no longer lists “Silver Solution” for sale on his website, he claimed that federal and state authorities were “persecuting” him into bankruptcy in April, while asking his devotees to send him cash and/or checks.

If you’re in need of medical treatment, contact your primary health care provider first. If you fear you can’t afford treatment from a hospital or doctor’s office, check with the Southern Nevada Health DistrictWashoe County Health DistrictCarson City Health and Human Services, or the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services for resources in your area. For additional aid, check the Nevada Current’s and Battle Born Progress’ resource guides. If you can afford proper treatment and you are fortunate enough to help others in need, please donate to larger operations like Direct Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and to local groups like Three Square.

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