Republican senator suggests using mouthwash as Covid treatment - Listerine says please don’t

On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) shared with supporters at a telephone town hall the strangest treatment for Covid-19 - and people were quick to call him out.

Johnson continued the spread of confusing information about the virus and treatments, and made a suggestion inspired by the product we all have in our medicine cabinet for oral care.

“By the way, 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 told Wisconsin constituents.

Johnson added: “It just boggles my mind that the NIH continues to tell people, ‘Do nothing, you know, maybe take Tylenol.’”

Unfortunately, mouthwash manufacturers explicitly state otherwise.

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Listerine, the most popular mouthwash brand in the US, says on its website that its product is “not intended to prevent or treat Covid-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.”

And while the French study he’s referring to did show that a mouthwash regimen could reduce salivary viral load significantly, it had to be a specific antiviral solution known as CDCM used three times a day for seven days.

In other words, not just your ‘standard gargle’ at night. Even then, the measure only tackles salivary viral load, while most infections occur through the nose.

Johnson has a controversial track record on Covid-19.

He’s pushed for the use of experimental and potentially harmful medicines like ivermectin, and he’s questioned the efficacy and rationale behind coronavirus vaccines, which are safe and effective in preventing serious illness from the virus.

People on Twitter had a lot to say about Johnson’s mouthwash claims. Check out the responses below:

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