MADISON, Wis. — This week, instead of doing his job and making sure the U.S. government was able to pay its bills and stopping cuts to Medicare, Ron Johnson was focused on spreading blatantly false misinformation about COVID-19.


See what they’re saying below:


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said this week that mouthwash is one way to protect from COVID-19 but the manufacturer of Listerine and medical experts say studies of the idea haven’t yet concluded it’s a proven antidote…Johnson regularly promotes unproven remedies for COVID-19 and expresses doubt in proven ways to combat the pandemic like vaccines.”


TMJ4: “Listerine has slammed a statement from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson as incorrect after the lawmaker said that gargling mouthwash can kill COVID-19…Listerine says on its website, ‘LISTERINE® Antiseptic is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.’”


The Washington Post: “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recommended mouthwash as a treatment for the coronavirus during a town hall meeting Wednesday, immediately drawing criticism for suggesting gargling would offer protection…His latest remarks run up against medical advice from a major producer of mouthwash and health experts.”


Newsweek: “During a virtual town hall, Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said that ‘standard gargle mouthwash’ kills coronaviruses like COVID-19. Scientific research and mouthwash companies do not back up his claim…However, mouthwashes don’t effectively treat or prevent COVID-19, nor are they a replacement for face masks or social distancing, according to laboratory studies cited by the wellness website Healthline.”


The Hill: “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Wednesday suggested that standard mouthwash could treat COVID-19, and criticized federal agencies for telling people to ‘do nothing.’…The mouthwash strategy has been refuted by both health experts and mouthwash brands themselves. Listerine says on its website that it ‘is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.’”


MSNBC: “A newly released audio recording showed the Republican claiming, ‘Standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus. If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things?’ He did not appear to be kidding.”

New York Magazine: “There is extremely stiff competition, but Senator Ron Johnson might be the least responsible national lawmaker, COVID-wise…So it was hardly a surprise when Johnson asserted on Wednesday night that people who have been infected with COVID give mouthwash a shot.”


HuffPo: “Republican Sen. Ron Johnson told supporters Wednesday that mouthwash is proven to be effective against COVID-19, continuing his trend of spreading dangerous misinformation about the disease and its treatments. Mouthwash companies and researchers in the field have drawn no such conclusions.”

Daily Beast: “Health professionals have been forced to call bullshit on Sen. Ron Johnson’s latest bogus COVID-19 remedy. The Wisconsin Republican told attendees of a Wednesday town-hall meeting that eliminating COVID was as easy as gargling mouthwash, which, he said, ‘has been proven to kill the coronavirus.’”

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