The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has closed its investigation of Branson televangelist Jim Bakker.
According to a close-out letter from the FDA, “The Jim Bakker Show” has addressed the concerns raised in its March 8 warning letter regarding Bakker’s promotion of Silver Solution. Attorneys for Bakker said this decision followed a recent evaluation of his immediate corrective actions in response to the letter.
The FDA sent the original letter as part of its nationwide effort to prevent the sale of certain natural products and supplements that the government believes do not cure COVID-19. This followed the promotion of a colloidal silver supplement called Silver Solution on the show on February 12 during an appearance by Dr. Sherill Sellman, a board-certified integrative naturopathic doctor.
An ongoing lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges that on an episode of the “Jim Bakker Show” a guest claimed that a product sold through his online store can cure the coronavirus. Those claims are not backed by reliable scientific evidence, the lawsuit says.
Bakker himself has taken the supplement personally for more than a decade, his attorneys said. However, the mention of COVID-19 in connection with Silver Solution raised a storm, and Bakker’s enemies were quick to attack on social media. The FDA warning letter quickly followed.
“Pastor Bakker never said Silver Solution would cure COVID-19, but we understand the FDA’s difficulty in responding to such a fast-moving public health crisis,” said former Missouri Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, Bakker’s attorney. “We are grateful the FDA has recognized Pastor Bakker’s immediate compliance with their request.”
The FDA warning was not the only battle Bakker faced in a situation that quickly escalated. Bakker’s wife, Lori, wrote on Facebook that his recent stroke came “after the most vicious attack he has ever experienced,” referring to the controversy and a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt against Bakker, saying Bakker’s guest implied that Silver Solution could be used as a cure for COVID-19. A similar lawsuit from the state of Arkansas followed.
In addition, three California jurisdictions and the state of Arkansas demanded Bakker’s Morningside Church hand over its records, including names, addresses and giving records of members of his congregation. Bakker’s attorney responded by filing a federal lawsuit on his behalf, saying in a statement that such “heavy-handed demands by government officials could have broad and sinister repercussions for churches across America,, Which ministry you donate to and how much you put into a church offering plate is your business — not the government’s.”
“No court has ordered Pastor Bakker and his church to hand over the personal information of any of their member-partners,” a statement from Bakker’s attorneys said. “When those requests came to the church, Pastor Bakker recognized an unprecedented and dangerous attack on religious freedom and filed suit in federal court to block that effort. In that lawsuit, the Arkansas attorney general and California officials, we believe, had no choice but to back down from that clear intrusion and, as the federal judge acknowledged, agreed to drop their request for the specific names of church partners. Pastor Bakker will continue to fight for religious freedom on behalf of Christians across America.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice