Health professionals have been forced to call bullshit on Sen. Ron Johnson’s latest bogus COVID-19 remedy. The Wisconsin Republican told attendees of a Wednesday town-hall meeting that eliminating COVID was as easy as gargling mouthwash, which, he said, “has been proven to kill the coronavirus.” “If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things?” he said, according to The Washington Post. But health experts say he was missing the point of how the virus spreads—which is usually through the nose, not the mouth.
“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,” Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious-disease expert at Korea University, was quoted telling the Post. Johnson’s advice also seems to ignore the most obvious way of fighting COVID: getting vaccinated. “That way, one would be at reduced risk for infection and have good smelling breath,” said Raymond Niaura, interim chair of the epidemiology department at New York University. “Listerine Professional,” a website for dental professionals run by the mouthwash producer, has stressed that Listerine “is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.”