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Two days after being arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was issued a cease-and desist order Thursday by the New York State attorney general to stop hawking sham items he claims cure the coronavirus.
According to a press release by Attorney General Letitia James, Jones falsely claimed on his InfoWars radio show that the United States government has said his Silverblue Toothpaste “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range.” He also claimed several other products are a “stopgate” against the virus.
“As the coronavirus continues to pose serious risks to public health, Alex Jones has spewed outright lies and has profited off of New Yorkers’ anxieties,” James said in the release.
“Mr. Jones’ public platform has not only given him a microphone to shout inflammatory rhetoric, but his latest mistruths are incredibly dangerous and pose a serious threat to the public health of New Yorkers and individuals across the nation,” James added.
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According to the press release, Jones also made “deeply deceptive claims about the benefits and medicinal powers of nano silver or colloidal silver — the main medicinal ingredient in his products.”
The press release, citing the National Institutes of Health, says colloidal silver can actually be dangerous to people. The FDA has said it is not safe or effective for treating any disease or medical condition.
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InfoWars did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The Texas-based Jones, 46, claimed for years that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — in which 20 children and six adults were killed — was staged by the government using crisis actors in order to take guns away from citizens. Last year, he was banned by Facebook and Instagram to as a “dangerous” individual.
Jones was ordered to pay $100,000 to settle a defamation suit brought by families of Sandy Hook victims, who have faced harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers.
In a deposition for the suit, Jones blamed his conspiracy theories on “psychosis.”
“I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged,” he said the deposition.
CNN, citing a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, reports Jones was arrested early Tuesday morning after a caller said there had been a “disturbance between her and her husband,” who had driven away and had possibly been drinking.
According to the affidavit, the deputy who pulled Jones over “detected a strong odor of alcohol.” The Austin American-Statesman, citing the affidavit, reports Jones had problems completing field sobriety tests.
Jones has said he was not intoxicated, and the paper reports Jones tested below the legal limit, including a reading of .079 percent, the lowest possible reading under the legal limit of .08. According to Texas Department of Transportation policy, however, a person can be considered intoxicated “if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC,” CNN reports.
PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach an attorney for Jones.
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