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Attorney General Schmitt sues Ozarks televangelist

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office yesterday filed suit against Branson-area televangelist Jim Bakker.

The suit alleges Bakker and Morningside Church Productions Inc. unlawfully attempted to sell and promote a product called Silver Solution for the treatment of coronavirus through “The Jim Bakker Show” and its website, according to a news release.

The suit alleges that on a Feb. 12 episode, Bakker and guest Sherill Sellman, a self-described naturopathic doctor, claimed Silver Solution can cure coronavirus, without providing scientific proof that it can do so.

The attorney general’s office is seeking a restraining order and permanent injunction ordering Bakker and his show to stop selling Silver Solution as a coronavirus treatment, according to the release.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission last week issued a cease and desist letter to Bakker and his show, naming the Silver Sol Liquid product that was available for sale on the website. The product appears to have been taken off of Bakker’s site as of this morning.

“FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use certain products that have not been approved, cleared or authorized by FDA and that are being misleadingly represented as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19,” the March 6 letter reads. “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus.”

Bakker previously served five years in federal prison in the 1990s following fraud charges tied to his Christian-based theme park Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, according to Springfield Business Journal archives. His show is shot on a multimillion-dollar, nearly 600-acre estate in Blue Eye. The estate includes cottages, condos and chapels, according to Bakker’s website.

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