MIAMI, Fla. – A Florida “church leader” and three of his adult sons were charged in Miami federal court Wednesday for selling toxic bleach as a fake miracle cure for COVID-19. The man had taken credit in April for Trump making the public suggestion at a press conference that injecting disinfectants into the body may cure the coronavirus.
Mark Grenon, 62, and sons Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, of Bradenton, Fla., are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as well as criminal contempt of court related to a civil case filed by the federal government earlier this year.
Federal prosecutors charged the four members of the Florida family for the sale of a product called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which they sold under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, a “religious organization,” which was being operated out of a home in Bradenton. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida said the non-religious church was created to avoid government regulation of MMS.
The chemical solution contained sodium chlorite and water and the makers would allegedly direct their customers to ingest MMS. The FDA says that the solution is chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach, typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper.
The product included a two ounce bottle of MMS, or sodium chlorite, and a two-ounce bottle of hydrochloric acid, marketed as an “activator.” The website sold the product as Sacramental Cleansing Water for $15 a bottle. The bottles and their ingredients were called sacraments.
There have been reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and dying after drinking MMS.
Before the Grenons marketed MMS as a cure for COVID-19, they had been touting it as a miracle cure for dozens of other serious diseases and disorders, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS.
Mark Grenon, the co-founder of Genesis, has repeatedly acknowledged that Genesis “has nothing to do with religion,” and that he founded Genesis to “legalize the use of MMS” and avoid “going [ ] to jail.”
London’s The Guardian reported that it was only days before Trump’s April 24 press conference that Grenon had written the president a letter saying his product, MMS, was a wonderful detox that could rid the body of COVID-19.
Trump noted at a press briefing on April 23, 2020 that researchers were looking at the effects of disinfectants on the virus and wondered aloud if they could be injected into people, saying the virus “does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”