Pixabay | Ryan McGuire

Florida Lawmaker Goes Viral For Spreading Myth That Hair Dryers Cure COVID-19

Amy Pilkington 22 Mar 2020

In these times of uncertainty, there are a lot of theories and news and ideas being thrown at us from all angles. Whether it's friends on social media sharing every rumor and meme or it's 24-hour news stations trying to fill their schedules, there's just a lot of noise.

Some of these rumors stem from a genuine hope that maybe this could be the one thing that saves us, and some are outright scams.

That's why it's important to always know who the official sources are.

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When in doubt, always check the WHO, CDC, or your country's equivalent public health authority for accurate and up-to-date info.

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It's especially important to think critically when the rumored "cure" sounds too good to be true.

Twitter | @BillyCorben

Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper has gone viral for asserting the validity of a wonder cure that definitely falls under too good to be true.

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The viral incident occurred at the March 20 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commissioners.

He began by citing an interview he watched on the One America News Network (OAN) with a doctor touted as "one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus."

He doesn't give the expert's name, but he explains how they said that the nasal passages are the coolest area of the body, which is why the virus likes to go there first.

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"This sound really goofy, and it did to me too, but it works," he continued.

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"Once the temperature reaches 136 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus falls apart, it disintegrates. I said how would you get the temperature up to 136 degrees? The answer was you use a blow dryer. You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale through your nose and it kills all the viruses in your nose.

"So that sounds like a really simplified way of doing things, but sometimes the cures for these diseases are very simple."

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Yes, that's right. He says that the cure is to blow a hair dryer up your nose.

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Culpepper doesn't appear to have checked any other scientific sources for the doctor's claim, and one would think that if hot air was enough to kill the virus, thousands of people wouldn't have already died from it.

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Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department replied to his assertion calmly.

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"There is lots of misinformation out there," she said with a straighter face then many people could have mustered.

But when she said that people should rely on their doctor's recommendations instead of social media, Culpepper shot back that he hadn't gotten this from social media, but from OAN.

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"[OAN] is the new Fox News if you want to know the truth," he said.

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Had he checked for alternative sources, Culpepper might have seen the FOX News reports telling people that this "cure" is a myth.

Similarly, third party fact-checking sites such as Snopes have debunked it as well.

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We make fun, but this is an important illustration of how much damage such rumors can cause.

This is an elected official passing on false information as fact during a time of crisis, and that's scary.

Don't take my word for it either. Things are changing too quickly for one person to keep up. When you see something like this shared on social media or even national news, always think twice and check a second, official source, before sharing it.

And don't forget to wash your hands.

Information about the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing and Diply is committed to providing the most recent data as it becomes available. Some of the information in this story may have changed since publication, and we encourage readers to use online resources from CDC and WHO to stay up to date on the latest information surrounding COVID-19.

h/t: *Lake Okeechobee News

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