In its January 3, 2022 email blast, the local extreme right wing group “Mesa County Concerned Citizen” included a plug for “The Defense Box,” an item selling online that contains about $60 worth of common over-the counter items like Pepcid, Listerine, Vitamin C and baby aspirin, that costs $182.36, including shipping and tax.
The group says the items are an “early and effective treatment option” for Covid-19.
None of the items in the box are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment, prevention, mitigation or cure of Covid-19.
The ripoff scheme is aimed at poorly-informed people in our area who are unclear about what really minimizes transmission of the coronavirus: behaviors like masking, physical distancing and avoiding indoor crowds (all of which are free), and what really works to keep people who get the virus out of hospitals, emergency rooms and intensive care units: Covid-19 vaccines (which are also free).
As we have seen, some local businesses are trying to profit from the pandemic by hawking dietary supplements they fraudulently infer will treat, prevent or mitigate Covid-19. Others who are promoting ripoff items like the “Defense Box” are leveraging widespread fear of the virus to bilk money from poorly-informed people, those most susceptible to misinformation and those who are least likely to be covered by health insurance coverage.