Charlotte, NC — Eric Nepute, a chiropractor from St. Louis, Missouri, is the first victim of an anti-First Amendment law signed by former President Donald Trump last December.
Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed charges on 10 counts of violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection (CCP) Act and FTC Act for Nepute’s vitamin and supplement line Wellness Warrior advertising “that their vitamin D and zinc nutritional supplements could prevent or treat COVID-19 without competent or reliable scientific evidence to support their claims.”
Neither the DOJ or FTC has provided a victim nor evidence that any alleged claims by Nepute were false. Instead, the government has stated the burden of proof is on the defendant.
The CCP Act’s synopsis states: “This bill provides authority for the Federal Trade Commission to seek civil penalties from entities engaging in deceptive trade practices that are associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) for the duration of such public health emergency.”
The DOJ was happy to announce its desire to punish Nepute for using his free speech with an April 15 press release. Brian M. Boynton, acting assistant attorney general, made it clear that only government-approved advice is allowed to be given.
“Deceptive marketing of unproven products discourages consumers from following health and safety guidelines provided by public health officials,” Boynton said. “The unlawful spreading of COVID-19 misinformation to sell a product will not be tolerated.”
Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, the FTC’s acting chairwoman, lauded the government’s power to silence Americans: “The defendants’ claims that their products can stand in for approved COVID-19 vaccines are particularly troubling: we need to be doing everything we can to stop bogus health claims that endanger consumers. With this case, the Commission has quickly put to use its new authority to stop false marketing claims related to the pandemic.”
Last May, the FTC sent a warning letter to Nepute telling him he “must immediately cease making all such claims,” referencing a Facebook video posted in March when COVID-19 tyranny first began. Nowhere in the FTC’s own “evidence” of false claims does Nepute claim vitamins or supplements are a cure but rather explains the benefits they provide to the natural, God-given “immune system,” nor was there any comments of vaccines as no COVID-19 vaccine was even developed at that time.
In a statement, Nepute said: “I feel that I have not done anything wrong. I encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle during this unprecedented time…. I’ve never made one claim at all that any of these nutrients cures or prevents coronavirus.”
While the DOJ and FTC would rather encourage Americans to take, as Slaughter stated, “approved COVID-19 vaccines,” evidence is emerging that the shots are not effective.
Yale University epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch said a majority of new COVID-19 cases appear to be among those who have been vaccinated.
“Clinicians have been telling me that more than half of the new Covid cases that they’re treating are people who have been vaccinated…. They’ve estimated that more than 60 percent of the new cases that they are treating – Covid cases – have been people who have been vaccinated,” Risch said.
It is unclear when the DOJ and FTC will be bringing charges against Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as well as the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health for “engaging in deceptive trade practices” in claiming the vaccines prevent COVID-19.
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