The Phoenix megachurch that hosted President Trump this week has received a cease-and-desist letter from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, calling to stop making fraudulent claims about a product they say can wipe out the coronavirus from the air.
As the Phoenix New Times points out, Dream City Church leaders Luke Barnett and Brendon Zastrow claimed that an air system made by Clean Air EXP could clear their 3,000-seat auditorium of the coronavirus.
“So when you come into our auditorium, 99 percent of COVID is gone,” Barnett said in the video that was shared before Trump’s June 23 visit. “So you can know when you come down here, you’ll be safe and protected.”
In his letter, Brnovich said Clean Air EXP “has advertised and continues to advertise” that it can “neutralize COVID-19,” yet his office “is aware of no scientific research or public health authority certifying any kind of treatment product as a means of preventing COVID-19 infections.”
At the time of the pastors’ claims, Clean Air EXP had a section on its website saying its “COVID-19 Report” proved through “product testing” that would get rid of “99 percent” of the coronavirus. But the New Times reports that the company “had not tested the system on the novel coronavirus.”
“Businesses cannot mislead consumers with their advertising, especially when it comes to health issues as serious as COVID-19,” Brnovich’s statement read. “We will not tolerate companies that attempt to deceive or exploit the public during this public health crisis.”
Clean Air EXP’s CEO Tim Bender told the New Times that the pastors’ comments had created “confusion” about the company’s product, but didn’t offer any further details.