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A Florida county commissioner faced blowback after spreading a debunked claim at an emergency public meeting that sticking a blow dryer up your nose can kill the coronavirus.
“This sounds really goofy – and it did to me too — but it works,” Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper said at the meeting Friday.
Okeechobee County Commission meeting Friday. Bryant Culpepper is third from left.
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“The answer was, you use a blow dryer,” he said, according to the New York Post. “You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale with your nose and it kills all the viruses in your nose.”
“Sometimes, the cures for some of these diseases are very simple.”
The meeting was called so Okeechobee County officials could brief Culpepper and the other elected commissioners on the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Video of the meeting shows Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department responding immediately after Culpepper speaks, saying: “There is lots of misinformation out there.”
Collins urged residents to rely on the advice of their own doctors and not something they see online.
Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper
(Okeechobee County Commission)
Culpepper on Sunday apologized on Facebook for angry exchanges he had with online critics as well as the “embarrassment” he caused his fellow commissioners and staff, the Post reported.
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“I will not offer any more suggestions unless they are tried and proven,” he said, according to the paper.
On Friday, the Associated Press assessed the claim that using a blow dryer to shoot hot air into your sinuses to kill the coronavirus as false—and dangerous.
“False! Please don’t. Our nose carries bacteria, as part of normal flora. Those bacteria may get confused,” Faheem Younus, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, in a tweet knocking down the false claim, according to the AP.
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Dr. Jen Caudle, a family physician and associate professor at Rowan University in New Jersey, told the AP that “depending on how hot the blow dryer gets, I would be concerned with some adverse effects.”