AT&T has asked seven channels on DIRECTV to “carefully review” whether they should continue carrying Jim Bakker’s TV show after the religious leader promoted a unproven product that he said could “totally eliminate” the Coronavirus from a human body.
That’s according to the Springfield News-Leader, which obtained a letter from AT&T to the seven channels, Christian Television Network, Daystar, GEB America, Uplifttv, The Word Network, ImpactNetwork, and World Harvest Television.
The newspaper said the letter was dated April 1. Bakker promoted the so-called anti-Coronavirus product, Silver Sol Liquid, during a show in February.
Federal health agencies, and other health officials, have said there’s no evidence that the product has any benefits. This has led to a nationwide petition from a liberal Christian group, Faithful America, to call for Bakker’s show to be removed from the air. And it appears that AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, has similar feelings.
“We have reached out to each of these channels and asked that they carefully review this programming to ensure it complies with their contractual and legal obligations to us,” Brent Olson, an AT&T vice president for global policy, wrote the seven channels.
AT&T could be concerned that continuing to air Bakker’s show could trigger liability issues as well as federal regulatory problems for the company and DIRECTV.. The telco refused to comment to the Springfield News-Leader other than to say the letter stood for itself.
Bakker has said opposition to him, and Silver Sol, is the result of his support for President Trump. However, the Trump Administration’s own Food and Drug Administration has warned Bakker to stop selling the product.
“The Secretary of Health and Human Services has determined that a public health emergency exists nationwide as a result of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Therefore, FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID 19 in people,” the agency wrote Bakker.
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