Ron Johnson Claims Using Mouthwash Can Prevent Covid

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) claimed that using mouthwash can prevent COVID-19 infection, a claim that has been debunked by public health experts.

“Standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus,” Johnson said, according to The Washington Post. “If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things?”

A recording uploaded by Heartland Signal reveals that Johnson also criticized the National Institutes of Health (NIH), saying, “It just boggles my mind that the NIH continues to tell people to do nothing.”

Johnson responded to news of the recording by tweeting research showing that mouthwash can provide a “modest benefit” by “reducing viral load in saliva.”

Johnson was immediately criticized by individuals who said he should instead support getting as many Americans vaccinated as possible.

Listerine points out 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.”

“Overall, more research is needed to understand whether use of mouthwashes can impact viral transmission, exposure, viral entry, viral load and ultimately affect meaningful clinical outcomes or have a public health impact,” the website added.

Johnson is one of Congress’s more prominent COVID-19 skeptics and made headlines earlier this year for questioning the government’s vaccine rollout, saying that it “probably should have limited the distribution to the vulnerable” and questioned the “big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine.”

[W]hy this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine, to the point where you better impose it, you’re going to shame people, you’re going to force them to carry a card to prove that they’ve been vaccinated so they can participate in society?” Johnson asked Wisconsin conservative radio host Vicki McKenna, echoing unfounded fears about vaccine passports.

Johnson acknowledged that the vaccines are effective but added, “So if you have a vaccine, quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? What is it to you?”

“I’m getting highly suspicious of what’s happening here,” he said.