America is living in an age of misinformation. During a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Senator Ron Johnson a Wisconsin Representative made a casual remark that gargling mouthwash has proved to kill the coronavirus. Senator Johnson has been at the forefront of spreading covid-19 conspiracy theories and had even had his Youtube channel removed for violating their misinformation policy.
The Senator has been open about his skepticism towards the vaccine mandates and has even been an active promoter of drugs such as Ivermectin that have been proven to be ineffective in treating the coronavirus. His latest mouthwash cure is yet another example of his lack of knowledge.
According to health experts mouthwash can partially kill off the coronavirus in one’s mouth however most coronavirus infections are present in the nose. The Senator wasn’t completely off base with his latest theory however infectious-disease expert, Kim Woo-Joo tells the Washington Post, “Even if gargling kills some of the virus, it won’t be able to clean the nasal area, nor the viruses that’s already penetrated deeper into the body,”.
Experts are currently exploring mouthwash and its effect on the virus.
Unfortunately for the Senator, there isn’t enough current evidence that’s strong enough to back his claim. Listerine has even debunked his theory on their website.
This article frustrated me. I struggle to understand how people in positions of power with access to correct information choose to believe myths over facts. People in power have a responsibility to provide accurate information to the public even if it differs from their personal beliefs. In the case of the covid-19 pandemic, misinformation could result in lives lost.
I think Americans should hold our leaders to a higher standard. I respect Youtube for taking Senator Johnson’s Youtube page down. This statement was a reminder to his colleagues and others that share similar views, that their actions do have consequences.