Anti-LGBT+ televangelist banned from peddling fake coronavirus ‘miracle cure’ says he’s being ‘unfairly targeted’
Anti-LGBT+ televangelist Jim Bakker has said he is being “unfairly targeted” after a lawsuit was filed against him for peddling a “miracle cure” for coronavirus.
Bakker and his TV production company, Morningside Church Productions Inc, were named in a lawsuit by Missouri attorney general Eric S Schmitt after “falsely promising” that their product Silver Solution “can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate coronavirus”.
It points out in no uncertain terms that “there is, in fact, no vaccine, pill, potion or other product available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)”.
The lawyer representing the televangelist is former Jay Nixon, a democrat who served two terms as governor of Missouri, and two terms as attorney general of Missouri before that.
According to The New York Times, Nixon said in a statement: “Jim Bakker is being unfairly targeted by those who want to crush his ministry and force his Christian television program off the air.
“The video recording of The Jim Bakker Show clearly shows the allegations are false. Bakker did not claim or state that Silver Solution was a cure for COVID-19.”
Nixon claimed that the lawsuit violated the Missouri Constitution, the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Bakker’s constitutional right to free speech.
Nixon said Schmitt’s lawsuit violated Bakker’s constitutional right to free speech, as well as the Missouri Constitution and the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
He said that products like Bakker’s Silver Solution were commonly sold, and added: “Targeting a Christian pastor, who has been using and offering the product for the past 10 years, is not supported by the facts or the law.”
According to NPR, on the February 12 episode of The Jim Bakker Show the televangelist welcomed alleged “natural health expert” Sherrill Sellman to discuss the supposed miracle product.
“God gave us this product,” he said before turning to Sellman.
“This influenza that is now circling the globe, you’re saying that Silver Solution would be effective?” he asked.
“Well, let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it has been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours,” Sellman replied.
She added that Silver Solution “has been proven by the government that it has the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS”.