TV homophobe and former adviser to Ronald Reagan peddles drinking bleach as a cure for HIV, STIs and disabilities
A homophobic right-wing pundit and former adviser to Ronald Reagan is endorsing a ‘miracle’ drink that can supposedly cure anything from autism to infertility – but it’s actually just bleach.
Anti-gay campaigner Alan Keyes, who once compared the right for gay people to marry to that of people’s rights to pick their nose and eat their boogers, disowned his only daughter in 2005 when she came out as a lesbian.
He now fronts a conservative web TV channel, Independent America Media TV (IAMtv), broadcast on YouTube and Roku. Keyes’ show Let’s Talk America is the channel’s flagship program.
Keyes appears in broadcasts with bottles of “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), which is billed as a cure for HIV, malaria, hepatitis, the H1N1 flu virus, common colds, autism, acne, and cancer.
In reality the solution’s main ingredient, chlorine dioxide, is an industrial bleach. MMS can lead to acute kidney failure if ingested, with even small amounts causing nausea, vomiting, shedding of intestinal membrane and life-threatening haemolysis.
In November, Keyes recorded a full show entitled “Is Our Healthcare System Holding Back?” about a woman who claimed to have “reversed” her child’s autism by making him drink MMS.
“I think a lot of common sense is now being deployed by folks who have been personally affected [by autism] as often happens in the healthcare sphere but it’s not very popular these days to talk about these things,” he said.
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Despite the many, many reasons not to drink the chemical, MMS reportedly has a growing fanbase among people skeptical of modern medicine. Until recently it was marketed on Amazon as a water purifier, and even boasted the “Amazon’s Choice” tag on the site.
Keyes rejected the idea that MMS is a harmful chemical, saying: “In point of fact it’s something that’s been used in hospitals, in restaurants, as a cleaner, in areas where they are preparing food and that has implications for human ingestion.”
He dismissed the criticism of MMS as “the cacophony of noise that’s being used to confuse people about what they’re dealing with”.
In August the FDA strongly warned people not to purchase or drink the solution after a rise in reported health issues. An NBC News investigation found at least 2,123 cases of chlorine dioxide poisoning resulting in serious side effects in the US since 2014.
“Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason,” said FDA Acting Commissioner Dr Ned Sharpless.