Phoenix church that hosted Trump rally issued cease-and-desist letter after claiming it was 99% COVID-free
PHOENIX - A Phoenix megachurch that hosted a Trump rally on June 24 has now been issued a cease-and-desist letter after claiming their air filtration system could kill "99 percent of COVID within 10 minutes," according to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
A cease-and-desist letter was also sent to Glendale-based air purification company Clean Air EXP, demanding they stop falsely advertising that their systems could neutralize the novel coronavirus.
According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, Clean Air EXP claimed their filtration systems could kill 99.9% of coronavirus.
"This was based on testing of coronavirus 229E, a virus which causes the common cold," the release states.
Dream City Church claimed their filtration system, which they bought from Clean Air EXP, could kill 99% of COVID in minutes and that “when you come into [the church’s] auditorium, 99 percent of COVID is gone."
"Because Dream City rents its facility for public events not related to church functions, the church was placed on notice that misrepresentations and false promises related to the safety of church facilities may violate the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act," the press statement reads.
The church hosted a Students for Trump rally on Tuesday, with the U.S. president headlining the event. The venue saw thousands of attendees - with few wearing face masks.
The Attorney General's office said they were not aware of any air treatment product that could be used to prevent COVID-19.
Read the full statement here.
FOX 10 has visited the CleanAir EXP product website, and on the front page, officials with the company selling the product state that lab tests confirm their product eliminates 99.9% of "coronavirus surrogate from the air in less than 10 minutes."
However, the claim is marked with an asterisk, which leads readers to a disclaimer that reads: "Biosafety lab analysis performed on active Coronavirus 229E and Cystovirus Phi6 test surrogates."
“We understand there is recent confusion around the claims made by one of our customers around our laboratory testing. We’re at the forefront of air and surface purification testing and technology – we tested with a third-party Certified Biosafety Laboratory on the best coronavirus surrogates available (Coronavirus 229E and Cystovirus Phi6) and found our patented technology leads to a 99.9% elimination of airborne coronavirus surrogates. We do not, however, eliminate COVID-19 at this time. Our coronavirus surrogate testing results are significant for the future of clean air. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the CDC for additional laboratory testing and support the CDC’s guidelines on hygiene habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19, stated Tim Bender, CEO of CleanAir EXP on June 23.
CDC's website on the human coronavirus lists seven coronaviruses that can infect people, one of which is Coronavirus 229E.
Officials with the CDC lists Coronavirus 229E, along with three other types of coronavirus, as "Common Human Coronaviruses."
"Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives," read a portion of the CDC webpage.
Coronavirus 229E, however, is not listed as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is listed as SARS-CoV-2. CDC Officials also note that information they placed on their Common Human Coronaviruses page should not be confused with COVID-19.
On June 26, Bender stated, "We are committed to developing and providing advanced air and surface purification systems for homes and businesses. No air purification system, including ours, can universally prevent coronavirus (including COVID-19) infections. On June 23, we updated our website to further emphasize the coronavirus surrogates used in our laboratory testing and made all lab reports available. We encourage following hygiene guidelines in the manner ordered or suggested by government authorities."