Ron Johnson says mouthwash can kill COVID-19. Manufacturer of Listerine, medical experts say there's no evidence yet to prove that.

The manufacturer of Listerine and medical experts say studies of the idea haven't yet concluded that it's a proven antidote for COVID-19.

Johnson said at the town hall event that a standard gargle has been proven to kill the coronaviruses or reduce viral replication to help protect from a serious surge of COVID-19 cases.

"Why not try all of these things, like taking supplements of vitamins and zinc, or taking a COVID-19 vaccine?" he asked.

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Johnson said in a statement that he was not suggesting vitamins or mouthwash was a substitute for COVID-19 vaccines.

If you choose to get the vaccine, I did not say that taking vitamins and using mouthwash would be a substitute. Multiple studies say that mouthwash may reduce viral load. Dr. Fauci said that he would recommend and take the supplements himself. I'm amazed at the resistance to anything that might reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

Johnson promotes remedies for COVID-19 and expresses doubt in the effectiveness of vaccines. The research on Listerine's effect on disrupting the virus has not produced a conclusion, despite Johnson's suggestion on Wednesday.

Ron Johnson has promoted views at odds with scientific research.

There are several ongoing, independent clinical trials where LISTERINE® is being assessed in patients. According to a statement from Johnson & Johnson, the data is not enough to support a conclusion that LISTERINE® is helpful against the COVID-19 virus.

Our understanding of the course of disease transmission continues to evolve. More research is needed to understand whether using a mouth rinse can impact the transmission of infectious diseases or the impact on public health.

The manufacturer of Listerine and medical experts say studies of the idea haven't yet concluded that it's a proven antidote for COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson officials said it would consider further investment in lab and clinical studies with trusted collaborators, playing an important role in understanding the interaction between oral care and the COVID-19 virus in the mouth.

Ben Weston, an associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Chief Health Policy Adviser for Milwaukee County, said that "it does not have the same effect on the rest of your body."

The COVID-19 virus can cause lung damage and make it difficult to breathe. It can cause damage to your heart. It can cause bleeding in your blood vessels. It can cause long term organ failure. Poor birth outcomes can be caused by damage to your reproductive system. Weston said the list goes on. We need to focus on prevention. The vaccines are free and effective.

Weston said vaccines make it less likely to get sick from the virus in the first place, less likely to transmit it to someone else, and less likely to die from it.

Dr. Ben Weston works ER shifts and advises policymakers. He thrives on the heavy load.

The public should know that the remedies Johnson is proposing are not proven to be effective in protecting against COVID-19 infections, according to the associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Home remedies, vitamins, and supplements have been advertised to and used by people in our society for hundreds of years. No one is discouraging their use, but they don't provide any benefit against Covid, and they are not a substitute for vaccination.

Not appropriate for any virus.

Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer of population health at the University of Washington, said that Johnson's suggestion to turn to vitamins and mouthwash was not appropriate for any virus.

Mokdad said that people should get 3 doses of vaccine, get a booster as soon as possible, wear a mask and wash their hands.

Johnson criticized the National Institutes of Health for focusing on the vaccine recommendation.

The National Institute of Health relies on proven treatments, according to Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's preventive medicine residency program.

The high bar for proving that a treatment is effective is set by theNIH and other researchers. Studies done in the lab, in animals, or in clinical anecdotes are important parts of the research process and lead to hypotheses that are tested in rigorous, controlled trials.

If we skipped this critical step, we would practice medicine based on hunches and best guesses. We need to be patient, and make sure we don't hurt anyone.

200 million Americans have chosen to get the vaccine against COVID-19 because of the advice of the CDC, the NIH, and many medical and scientific experts.

Molly Beck can be reached at Follow her on the social media site.

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The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had an article about Ron Johnson. Experts say to get a vaccine.