The gloves were off on CNN this week as Anderson Cooper battered MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell over his touting of an unproven treatment for the coronavirus in which he has a financial interest. Cooper accused Lindell, better known as the MyPillowGuy, of being “snake oil salesman” who was out to make a profit on the use of an extract from the poisonous oleander plant as a possible tool in fighting the ongoing global pandemic.
“How do you sleep at night?” Cooper demanded of Lindell at one point during the contentious interview.
The interview was filled with fireworks from the start, with Cooper interrupting Lindell repeatedly to set the record straight.
“There’s no public peer-reviewed studies about this,” Cooper noted. “There’s no human trials that have been published anywhere.”
“There’s safety tests that were done in 2016 for over a thousand people, that it’s safe to take,” Lindell countered.
It is unclear what study Lindell is referring to. While a study published in last November found that some “phytomedical compounds, such as the cardenolide oleandrin, may one day represent a cost-effective therapeutic strategy to help combat enveloped virus infections,” the study was published in 2019, not 2016, and was not conducted for the treatment of the current pandemic. The FDA has not approved the use of oleander as a treatment despite the efforts of Lindell.
Cooper went on to note that Lindell has a financial interest in the company promoting their oleandrin extract from the Nerium oleander plant. Just last week he was added to the board for Phoenix Biotechnology which produces oleandrin.
“You really are like a snake-oil salesman,” Cooper unloaded. “You could be in the Old West standing on a box telling people to drink your amazing elixir that there’s no proof.”
“I give the glory to God,” Lindell interrupted at this point. “I do what Jesus has me do! I give the glory to God!”
When Lindell asked why would he would risk his reputation if he “didn’t believe in this product,” Cooper replied “money” before noting that the MyPillowGuy doesn’t have a good reputation.
“If you say that, I’m gonna pray for you, Anderson,” Lindell said.
You can watch the entire exchange in the videos below.