Consumer Alert:
Attorney General James Orders TV Host to Stop Marketing Bogus Coronavirus Treatments

Sends Cease & Desist Notice to Newsmax Host Wayne Allyn Root for
Misleading Claims About Effectiveness of Products in Treating Coronavirus

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered Wayne Allyn Root to immediately cease and desist marketing products as treatments or cures for coronavirus. Wayne Allyn Root — through his television show on Newsmax and his social media accounts — has been marketing products as treatments and preventative measures for coronavirus. Root has made misleading claims that products from and advertised on his show will help cure coronavirus and “might save your life” if you contract coronavirus. There is currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine to prevent the disease or treatment to cure it and the World Health Organization has also said that there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this disease.

“As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, so too are the deceptive and predatory businesses seeking to take advantage of consumers,” said Attorney General James. “Mr. Root is just the latest example of this exploitative behavior that not only misleads the public, but actually compromises our health and safety. We will continue to go after any individual or entity that preys on consumers, especially during this crisis.”  

Attorney General James has sent multiple cease and desist letters to individuals and companies selling and marketing certain products as treatments or cures for the coronavirus, including Alex Jones, The Silver Edge company, Dr. Sherill Sellman, and televangelist Jim Bakker.

In addition to this deceptive marketing, the products sold on make misleading claims about the benefits and medicinal powers of colloidal silver — the main medicinal ingredient in these products. According to the National Institutes of Health, colloidal silver can actually be dangerous to a person’s health, and the FDA has warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition. Countless scientific studies have also determined that there is no evidence to support the use of colloidal silver as a treatment for any disease or condition.

Attorney General James has also issued cease and desist notifications to dozens of businesses in New York for charging excessive prices for hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, and rubbing alcohol — a violation of New York’s price gouging statute. That statute prohibits the sale of goods and services necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers at unconscionably excessive prices during any abnormal disruption of the market.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) continues to surveil and monitor businesses across the state for potential scams and price gouging schemes designed to exploit public concern related to the spread of the coronavirus. Scammers commonly exploit real public health concerns and use heightened public fear to prey on consumers and profit from frauds related to those health fears. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam or have witnessed potential price gouging, please report these incidents to the OAG.