by William Cummings // USA TODAY // 08/18/20
Anderson Cooper tore into My Pillow founder Mike Lindell for touting an unproven drug as a potential “cure” for COVID-19, calling the prominent supporter of President Donald Trump a “snake oil salesman” in a CNN interview.
Lindell has been advocating for the use of oleandrin, an extract from the oleander plant, as a treatment for the coronavirus. Lindell helped Andrew Whitney of Phoenix Biotechnology land an Oval Office meeting in July where they pitched the drug to Trump, according to reports from The Washington Post, CNN and Axios. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson also attended the meeting, Axios reported.
Lindell, who has a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnology, told Cooper that he learned about the drug from a friend who told Lindell he had “answer to the virus.” He said he brought the news to Carson, a neurosurgeon but not an expert in infectious diseases, who declared it to be the “real deal” and brought it to the president.
“This thing works. It’s the miracle of all time,” Lindell told Cooper. After his inability to give specifics on where and when the drug was studied, Lindell told Cooper, “You’re just misconstrued because the media is trying to take away this amazing cure that works for everybody.”
“You have no medical background, you’re not a scientist,” Cooper said. “A guy called you in April, said he had this product. You are now on the board and going to make money from the sale of this product. The reason he reached out to you is because you have the ear of the president, so he gets a meeting with the president, and you stand to make money from this.
“How do you sleep at night?” Cooper asked.