He has no medical background or any expertise in science — outside of maybe some research on how to get better sleep. Yet, Mike Lindell, the founder, and CEO of My Pillow has been doing “research” for Trump’s COVID Task Force. It is probably just a coincidence, but Lindell did report on finding a cure, in another company he just so happens to sit on the board of — Pheonix Biotechnology.
The “cure” Lindell brought to the task force is an oleander extract called “Orleandrin.” Actual scientists describe it as dangerous and highly toxic and would “definitely end up killing people.”
According to medpagedaily.com, who actually uses science in their reports, this is what Lindell’s “miracle cure” does to those who ingest it:
According to a 2010 case report and review, oleandrin directly interferes with the sodium-potassium pump of the heart, potentially leading to arrhythmias. Ingestion also causes gastrointestinal effects, and both appear about four hours after ingestion.
Authors of an earlier case report calculated that 4 grams of oleander leaves would be fatal.
Actual doctors agree with these findings. Dr. David Juurlink, an MD. and PHD. in Toronto tweeted this:
Oleandrin? Yeah that would definitely end up killing people. https://t.co/wtM2evkogE
— David Juurlink (@DavidJuurlink) August 17, 2020
In July, according to Lindell, Trump wanted Oleandrin approved right away. Trump’s HUD secretary, Ben Carson, was also pushing Oleandrin. Of course, this is not the first time Trump has pushed unproven or even dangerous things during the coronavirus pandemic. He endorsed Hydroxychloroquine, which has also been proven to not help COVID patients and can be dangerous. Then there was the time Trump was suggesting people be injected with bleach or some kind of disinfectant, along with UV rays somehow “shot” inside their body. Again, none of these treatments have shown any proof of working, and all of them can be dangerous if Trump’s advice was taken.
Sadly, some have taken his advice with some not so good results. According to the CDC:
To try to kill the novel coronavirus, some Americans are unsafely using disinfectants and cleaners, including washing food with bleach, using the products on bare skin, and inhaling and ingesting them, federal health officials reported Friday.
Health experts caution explicitly against using cleaning products in those ways.
The findings come from an online survey of 502 adults conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May. Thirty-nine percent had misused the cleaning products, and one quarter reported “an adverse health effect that they believed was a result” of the products.
Earlier this week, Anderson Cooper blasted Lindell for pushing an unproven “medication” like a “snake oil salesman.” Cooper also questioned Lindell’s claim that the drug has been “tested by over 1,000 people,” saying, “there are no public peer-reviewed studies about this” and demanded Lindell show him the test, to which Lindell replied, “I don’t have the test.”
It is also worth noting that this isn’t Dr. Carson’s first time promoting dubious medical supplements. He was questioned at a 2016 GOP primary debate over his speeches he gave with Mannatech, a Texas-based company that sells blends of plant extracts called “glyconutrients.” Carson downplayed his relationship with the company at the debate, saying “I did a couple of speeches for them. I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them.” In the same breath, however, he promoted Mannatech’s products, stating, “Do I take the product? Yes, I think it’s a good product.”
Back to the actual experts who are trying to warn of the dangers of this treatment. Dr. Jennifer Gunter had this to say when she heard Trump and Carson were promoting Lindell’s company’s “cure” …
Just upping this, it’s easier to kill a person with oleandrin than COVID-19. And Trump and Ben Carson are promoting a product made with oleandrin. https://t.co/n22nOZbt17
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) August 17, 2020
Most Americans don’t think Trump has handled this crisis very well at all. Perhaps if Trump listened to actual accredited experts on the subject instead of people like the My Pillow guy and the “demon sperm” lady, we might not be in the mess we are in.