Hey, he wondered aloud during Thursday’s press conference, what about the stuff that works on tabletops and door knobs—could it also work inside people? “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?”
If he was talking about bleach—though he later claimed it was a “sarcastic” joke—his comments are all the more ridiculous in light of Attorney General William Barr’s campaign against those seeking to cash in on the pandemic with fake remedies.
On April 15, federal prosecutors announced that they had secured an injunction barring a Florida-based church for selling bleach as a miracle cure.
The Genesis II Church of Hope and Healing calls itself “a non-religious church.” It is sometimes called “The Church of Bleach.” It has previously tried to convince the gullible that its Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)—more commonly known as industrial bleach—can remedy a host of ills, including Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.
With the advent of the pandemic, Genesis II added COVID-19 to the list of cures.
“G2 Church Sacramental Dosing for Coronavirus!” the church website announced.
The website advised:
“For Adults: 6 drops activated MMS in 4 ounces of water every two hours 5 times first day, Repeat 2nd day. If all symptoms are gone then continue with 3 drops and [sic] hour for 8 hours for another 3 days!
“For Small Children: same a [sic] above but with only 3 drops. 1 drop instead of 3 drops of the 3 days after the first two days of strong dosing!
NOTE: This should wipe it out this flu-like virus that many are being scared with its presence in this world!”
The Coronavirus is curable!”
In a church video, Mark Grenon proselytizes, “If it’s in your lungs, do it the second day again, then I’d go to three drops eight hours a day for three or four days, then just to keep going, kick it out of you. Small children, we can cut everything in half, three drops every two hours versus a couple days, three hours then a drop really, not three.”
On April 8, the FDA sent the church an official warning letter, ordering it to stop making such false claims and marketing an unapproved drug. Genesis II responded on its website the following day.
“We can say cure, heal and treat as a Free Church. Don’t need you [sic] approval or authorization for a Church Sacrament,” the church declared in bold. “There will be NO corrective actions on our part ... You have no authority over us! ... Never going to happen.”
The FDA had previously issued a warning on its website about MMS, summarizing it with its own message in bold.
“MMS Consumers Are Drinking Bleach.”
The agency noted that the reported side effects can include “severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration, and acute liver failure.”
Genesis II did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast. The church's website reports that MMS was developed in 1996 by Jim Humble. He is a former scientologist who has claimed in an online video to be a billion-year-old god from the Andromeda galaxy who was “asked to be put in the part of the space navy that watched over Earth.”
Humble co-founded the church, but he was not mentioned in the most recent court papers. Genesis II seems to be run presently by a self-proclaimed archbishop, Mark Grenon of Bradenton, Florida. The federal complaint notes that his sons, Jonathan and Jordan, both hold the title bishop. All three Grenons are said by the complaint to be “responsible for Genesis’s operations including, but not limited to, labeling, holding, and/or distributing MMS.”
As reported by the Daily Beast last December, conservative pundit Alan Keyes has also touted the benefits of MMS, and Jonathan Grenon posted a photo on Facebook of Keyes smiling with the two Grenons.
MMS is not just some harmless scam.
Back in 2015, ABC News reported that Doug Nash, former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, California, alleged that his wife died 12 hours after taking MMS as a preventive for malaria. Genesis II insisted MMS is harmless.
The U.S. Department of Justice took a different view.
"They might as well be selling Clorox," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer told ABC News then. "You wouldn't drink Clorox, so there is no reason you should drink MMS."
Perhaps he should tell that to the president.