Ben Carson, President Donald Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary, used an unapproved herbal supplement to treat Covid-19 following a recommendation from Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow.
Lindell has recommended that people should take oleander extract to treat coronavirus symptoms. Carson told The Washington Post that his symptoms disappeared within hours of taking it.
“Carson said he took the extract, which has not been approved for such purposes by the FDA and which experts say may be dangerous, and within hours his symptoms disappeared — to the delight of Lindell, who has a financial stake in the company that makes the extract,” The Post reported.
“Anybody who has ever gotten covid and taken it, they are fine in five hours, and the next day are running around playing floor hockey in the hallway,” Lindell has said.
Lindell has pitched the Trump administration on the efficacy of oleander extract, but it has not been approved.
The news is an about-face from Carson’s previous statements.
In August, Carson told ABC News that he was still on the fence in regard to the herbal supplement, saying it should go to human trials before hitting the market and being taken by anyone.
“It’s not time for it yet,” Carson said at the time. “What hopefully will happen is that clinical trials will occur. This should go the same route as other things do. We shouldn’t, you know, skip the process.”
“You know, what happened with Mike Lindell, who is a fantastic salesperson, but not a scientist, perhaps distorts the process,” Carson added, noting that the Food and Drug Administration is studying the supplement.