An experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July. Now it’s being embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell.
Now to the alarm of some government officials, Trump is “expressing enthusiasm” for the FDA to approve an extract from the oleander plant as a dietary supplement to cure COVID-19, with zero proof that it works!
Senior administration officials familiar with the internal conversations around oleandrin have raised concerns about the way this botanical extract — pushed by Andrew Whitney of Phoenix Biotechnology — is being promoted at the highest levels of the Trump administration.
A senior administration official familiar with the internal conversations told Axios, “The involvement of the Secretary of HUD and MyPillow.com in pushing a dubious product at the highest levels should give Americans no comfort at night about their health and safety during a raging pandemic.”
There is no public data showing oleandrin has ever been tested in animals or humans for its efficacy against COVID, but a non-peer-reviewed lab study showed some evidence of inhibiting the virus.
Asked why the HUD secretary was promoting an unproven botanical extract to cure COVID-19, a Carson spokesperson emailed the following statement to Axios: “Secretary Carson is a member of the Coronavirus Task Force, he has been directly involved with the Administration’s response to this disease from the very beginning.”
My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell, who is a personal friend of Carson and Trump as well as a major advertiser on Fox News, helped Whitney get a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office in July.
See the story in more detail at Axios.