As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declares a state of emergency amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the state's attorney general, Letitia James, is going after a Chrisitan televangelist for "false advertising."
A guest of The Jim Bakker Show on Feb. 12, Sherrill Sellman, was asked if the "Silver Solution," sold for $125 on his website, would be effective against the coronavirus.
"Let's say it hasn't been tested on this strain of the coronavirus," Sellman, a naturopathic doctor, is quoted as saying, "but it's been tested on other trains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours."
Lisa Landau sent a "cease and desist" letter to Bakker, who has previously served jail time for federal fraud and conspiracy charges in the 90s, on March 3 giving him 10 business days to comply or possibly face a fine of $5,000 per violation.
"Your show's segment may mislead consumers as to the effectiveness of the Silver Solution product in protecting against the current outbreak," Landau wrote.
The World Health Organization said there is no known FDA approved medicine or vaccine able to prevent or treat COVID-19 at this time.
“As we experience more cases of coronavirus, it is imperative that New Yorkers remain calm, but stay vigilant,” the attorney general said in a statement.
“In addition to being mindful about our health, we must also beware of unscrupulous actors who attempt to take advantage of this fear and anxiety to scam or deceive consumers. I encourage anyone who believes they are the victim of a scam or predatory action to contact my office and file a complaint," she added.
Bakker served five years of a 45-year sentence for stealing millions from his ministry, The Praise the Lord Club. He was also accused of raping Jessica Hahn, a church's secretary, in the 1980s. Bakker testified that he had been set up, arguing that sex with Hahn was consensual.