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Coronavirus pandemic danger, covid19 epidemic, moving restrictions, virus emergency situation banner, man with red flag on road, closed customs border, transport control, stop sign, travel restriction

Fraudulent claims made in the US for COVID-19 treatments are growing at a rate similar to the spread of the disease itself, the Federal Trade Commission’s latest round of warning letters suggests.

With the 50 it published on 21 May, the FTC nearly doubled its total of warnings to businesses and persons making false and misleading claims for consumer health products and services to prevent or treat the disease caused by the novel coronavirus 2019. It now has submitted 120 warnings since beginning to find bogus COVID-19 claims for products marketed in the US.

The World Health Organization reported the same day that the largest number of COVID-19 cases, more than 106,000, were recorded in any 24-hour period during the pandemic.

Additionally, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide reached its highest rate over the past week, more than 91,000, even though the average weekly number of deaths has decrease. WHO says more than 329,000 people have died from the coronavirus.

In the US, the death toll reached 93,606, with nearly 1.56m cases of the disease recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Nebulizer, PEMF, Scalar Frequency Providers Warned

The FTC, meanwhile, announced it had warned more vitamin, mineral and supplement and homeopathic sellers and acupuncture, ozone treatment and intravenous drip service providers as well as firms offering additional health care services fraudulently promoted for COVID-19 prevention and treatment. 

Appearing on the commission’s COVID-radar for the first time are providers of nebulizers, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and scalar frequencies.

In an 11 May letter, the FTC warned a Bradenton, FL, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy business identified as about claims on its website including: “In this video, I’m going to show you nine ways how PEMF therapy can help you fight the Coronavirus … Hello, this is Bryant Meyers, author of ‘PEMF - the 5th Element of Health.’ I am a former physics professor and 25-year energy medicine researcher, and in this video we are going to talk about COVID-19.”

The agency warned Nanjing, China, firm Spooky2 Scalar on 4 May about claims in a series of social media posts including, “The COVID-19 is rampaging through many countries, leaving a path of illness and death. Come and listen to this FREE frequency healing sound for Coronavirus Disease 2019 to protect yourself and your family.”

The nebulizer providers warned by the FTC on 13 May about making false COVID-19 claims online are StuphCorp, of Las Vegas, and Gordon Medical, of San Rafael, CA. StuphCorp’s claims included, “Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is known for its bactericidal, virucidal, sporicidal, and fungicidal properties. ... I’d recommend nebulizing hydrogen peroxide during this pandemic.”

Gordon Medical’s website featured claims such as, “Our doctors have been impressed with the potential for nebulized hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to protect against, and possibly treat the Covid-19 infection. This is a treatment that you can do at home if you have a nebulizer.”

The FTC said the letters are its fifth set of warnings it announced in ongoing efforts to protect consumers from COVID-19 health care product scams. The letters advise the businesses and individuals to immediately stop all claims that their products can treat or cure COVID-19, and to notify the commission within 48 hours about the specific actions they’ve taken to correct their violations. (Also see "False COVID-19 Claims In US Consumer Health Market: Rampant With Forecast For More" - HBW Insight, 9 May, 2020.)

The commission also noted that should a warned firm failed to comply, it may seek federal court injunctions and orders requiring refunded to consumers, as it did in April with litigation against California firm Whole Leaf Organics LLC. (Also see "Patch, Soap and Essential Oil Firms Warned On COVID-19 Claims, Court Silences Herbal Firm" - HBW Insight, 28 Apr, 2020.) 

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