Televangelist Jim Bakker sued for selling bogus coronavirus cure

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads emotional and economic panic across the globe, misinformation has gone viral, as well. According to CBS News, the French government found itself trying to snuff out the ridiculous internet myth that snorting cocaine could immunize people against coronavirus. Others have falsely claimed drinking bleach will kill the illness, presumably by brightening your white blood cells. 

However, when it comes to bogus coronavirus cures, disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker takes the cake, which is a lie – so really, he fakes the cake. In fact, Bakker's cake-fakery was so heinous that he got sued by the state of Missouri.

Every cloud has a silver liar

To be clear, there are currently no coronavirus treatments, snortable or otherwise, and there might not be one for quite a while. As STAT News notes, the drug company Sanofi estimated that it would take 18 months to develop a COVID-19 vaccine suitable for human testing and possibly three years to get it approved, which sounds like an eternity. But in that dark cloud, Jim Bakker found a silver lining — or to put it more accurately, a Silver Solution.

A so-called "natural health expert" named Sherrill Sellman sang the solution's praises on an episode of The Jim Bakker Show, per NPR. Sellman, whose surname is hilariously on the nose, alleged that Silver Solution was "proven by the government that it has the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS and HIV." Sellman heavily implied that it would apply to COVID-19, as well. This silver bullet in a bottle had an $80 price tag. 

This was such an outrageous lie that it's kind of surprising that nobody's pants burst into flames during the segment. Instead, the Missouri government had to settle, by suing the pants off  Bakker. However, this isn't the first time the televangelist has gotten in trouble for fleecing his flock. As ABC details, in 1989, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison for mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. According to author John Wigger, after winning parole in 1994, Bakker went on to start a new ministry by peddling end of days-themed products, including five-gallon buckets of freeze-dried blood and survival gear for doomsday preppers. Hopefully, his snake oil is included free of charge.