Listerine debunks Sen. Ron Johnson's claim that gargling mouthwash can kill COVID-19

Sen. Ron Johnson
Posted at 10:59 AM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 13:17:29-05

Listerine has slammed a statement from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson as incorrect after the lawmaker said that gargling mouthwash can kill COVID-19.

According to a video posted by Heartland Signal, the newsroom Twitter account of WCPT 820 Radio, Sen. Johnson said during a town hall that "there are things you can do, get Vitamin D, Zinc, keep yourself healthy, Vitamin C. By the way - standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus. Even if you get it, you may reduce viral application. Why not try out these things?"

On Thursday, antiseptic mouthwash brand Listerine wrote on Twitter that LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash is in fact not clinically proven to do that.

"LISTERINE® Antiseptic is a daily mouth rinse which has been proven to kill 99.9% of germs that cause bad breath, plaque and gingivitis," according to Listerine.

Sen. Johnson later told CNN that his remarks were taken out of context.

“I’m doing a telephone town hall and I'm telling people take it seriously and do what you can to boost your immune system and eat healthy. I was just trying to tell Wisconsinites to take it serious," Johnson said, according to CNN.

The Wisconsin Senator has consistently made headlines for spreading conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and unproven ways to prevent people from getting sick. He was suspended from YouTube earlier this year for violating YouTube's policies on medical misinformation.

Responding to the video from Heartland Signal, Sen. Johnson shared a link to a study about how antiviral mouthwash can provide a "modest benefit" in reducing the SARS-CoV-2 viral load in saliva.

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."

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