Whatever televangelist Jim Bakker is selling, the New York Attorney General ain’t buying.
Lisa Landau, Chief of the Health Care Bureau, gave The Jim Bakker Show 10 days to comply with a cease-and-desist letter that tells him to stop touting an alleged cure for the coronavirus. The letter was sent Thursday to Bakker’s office and cited a Feb. 12 episode of his show that claimed a Silver Solution sold on his website would be a preventative against the coronavirus.
John Oliver covered the claims on his HBO Last Week Tonight show (see video below at the 17-minute mark).
Bakker was previously convicted of fraud and served time in federal prison related to his activities connected to his popular Praise The Lord (PTL) Club show, a religious version of mainstream talk shows featuring Jim and wife Tammy Faye Bakker. The couple later divorced in 1992 in the wake of a scandal that saw Bakker pay hush money to cover up an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn. But at one point in the 1980s, he was arguably the most prominent televangelist in America.
He now has a new show and a new wife.
On the Feb. 12 show in question, Bakker asked guest Sherill Sellman if the solution she was talking about would work against the coronavirus.
“Let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it’s been rested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours,” she replied.
“The World Heath Organization (‘WHO’) has noted that there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this disease,” Landau said in her letter to Bakker. “Therefore, any representation on the Jim Bakker Show that its Silver Solution products are effective at combating and/or treating the 2019 novel coronavirus violates New York law.”
Landau also said a disclaimer had to be listed on the website denying any claims on its efficacy. “These statement have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease,” the disclaimer reads.
The Silver Solution products were on sale for more than $125.
Watch a segment from Bakker’s new show above. The John Oliver show that revealed the scandal is below.