Florida commissioner destroyed online after suggesting a blow dryer up your nose can fix COVID-19

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OKEECHOBEE, FL. – Law Enforcement Today has learned that last week in Florida, Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, who is not a physician but apparently plays one on television, told a public meeting that “blowing a hairdryer up your nose” can cure the coronavirus. Really, he said that.

The important thing during a pandemic such as we are currently facing is to make sure that you get your information from reliable sources.

If you’re watching television, there are any number of medical experts who have a fairly good idea how the COVID-19 virus can be treated, including medical contributors on news stations.

More importantly, the Surgeon General of the United States, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are probably the most reliable sources. We would not suggest taking medical advice from politicians.

 At a public meeting, Culpepper was telling the meeting about his background as a paramedic, and said that he had seen “one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus” reveal a cure on cable TV.

 

Culpepper said that according to a program he watched on One America News Network, the doctor  “explained that the nasal passages and the nasal membranes are the coolest part of the body, which is why the virus tends to go there unit it then becomes healthy enough to go into the lungs.”

“This sound really goofy—and it did to me too—but it works,” he told the meeting last Friday, which was captured on video. “Once the temperature reaches 136 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus falls apart.”

“I said, how would you get the temperature up to 136 degrees?”

“The answer was to use a blow dryer. You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale with your nose, and it kills all the viruses in your nose,” he said.

Culpepper concluded:

“So that sounds like a really simplified way of doing things, sometimes the cures for some of these diseases are very simple.”

After Culpepper made the statement, it was met by relative silence at the meeting, and also at least one of the commissioners covered his face with his hands.  

Florida commissioner destroyed online after suggesting a blow dryer up your nose can fix COVID-19
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After Culpepper’s statement, Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department responded, saying:

“There is lots of misinformation out there.” She then urged residents to rely on the advice of their own doctors and not something they see online.

However, once the video went viral, including on his own Facebook page, he got hammered. Examples of the comments received included being called, “dangerously ignorant,” a “special kind of stupid,” and even “dumb as a fucking rock” on his own page.

 

“Misinformation is deadlier than the actual virus,” said one critic, Tony Trotter on Facebook.

On Sunday, after probably realizing that he had made Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear intelligent in comparison, Culpepper apologized on Facebook for the angry exchanges he had with online critics as well as the “embarrassment” he caused his fellow commissioners and staff, the New York Post reported.

 

“I will not offer any more suggestions unless they are tried and proven,” he said, according to the Post. “I ask for all of your forgiveness for anything offensive that I uttered during these exchanges. God Bless and soften your hearts.”

The Associated Press assessed the claim that using a blow dryer to shoot hot air into ones sinuses to kill the coronavirus is false—and dangerous.

“False! Please don’t. Our nose carries bacteria, as part of normal flora. Those bacteria may be confused,” Faheem Younus, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland said in a tweet, knocking down the false claim, according to the AP.

Dr. Jen Caudle, a family physician and associate professor at Rowan University in New Jersey, told the AP that “depending on how hot the blow dryer gets, I would be concerned with some adverse effects.”

Meanwhile, in Miami Beach, Commissioner Ricky Arriola is suggesting that we infect our first responders with COVID-19 intentionally.

At an emergency City Commission meeting this week to discuss plans and procedures in the event of a COVID-19 breakout in their community, Arriola missed the opportunity to keep his mouth shut, and instead removed all doubt about what’s inside his head.

The commissioner made a comment, and he was completely serious when saying it, that was just so incredibly ridiculous that I didn’t believe he actually said it when I read about it.

But, again unfortunately for Commissioner Arriola, his words will forever be held in the magic of technology and the elusive cloud.

Here’s what he said:

“Might we start thinking about — it’s dangerous but bold… our first responders voluntarily taking one for the team, going through the two weeks — guys, we’ve got to be serious about this — and then developing the immunity?”

I’m not making it up, I swear.  Watch for yourself:

🤦🏻‍♂️ In one of the most absurd statements we have heard in a while, City of Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola asks if First Responders should “take one for the team” in case one develops an immunity after having the Corona Virus. Perhaps Commissioner Arriola wants to give this a try first and then let us know how it goes?

Posted by Team South Florida, a Non-Profit Law Enforcement Charity on Saturday, March 14, 2020

There’s so much to unpack here, I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s start with first responders being asked to “voluntarily take one for the team.”

First responders “take one for the team” every single day they show up to work.  They even “take one for the team” when they are on their days “off.”  

“Developing the immunity” is an irresponsible thing to even suggest. 

We have NO IDEA what happens from this virus long term.  To say it’s “like the chickenpox,” (no, I’m also not making that part up… I’ll get to that) is asinine. This is new. This is uncharted.

It may have the immunity that chickenpox carries with it, but it also may not. 

Sorry, Commissioner. First responders are not your guinea pigs. They volunteer to dedicate their lives to their communities, they don’t need to volunteer to be infected with a foreign disease too.

During the same meeting, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber had first said that he was concerned about first responders carrying the virus unknowingly and then spreading it to each other or people they contact during their shifts.

The mayor said:

“Frankly, if I had one message to send out to other people right now in government, at other levels of government, I’d say we desperately need to be able to test as much as we want to test and as often as we can test.

We are this close to losing a lot of our first responders, and I don’t want to sound like the sky is falling, but that is something that could happen at any moment, and if it does, I think we’d be in a terrible place.”

Ok, that makes sense. Our first responders are, after all, human and they’re just as vulnerable to contracting a disease or virus as anyone else, if not more so.

It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that precautions are taken and that cities and agencies have plans in place to know what to do if an outbreak does occur there.

And then came Commissioner Arriola’s full response:

“Are there any doctors in the audience? I don’t know. ‘Cause I’ve reached out to a couple of doctor friends to confirm. I don’t know yet, but I’ve been trying to research and no one’s answered the question:

Do you develop — once you have the coronavirus, assuming you make it through — do you have immunity? Some doctors have told me yes.

To the extent that that is true, might we start thinking about — it’s dangerous but bold — it’s like a chickenpox, thank you, with our first responders voluntarily taking one for the team, going through the two weeks — guys, we’ve got to be serious about this — and then developing the immunity? … It is our job to think boldly, and we’ve got to start thinking about this.”

Oh good. So at least he’s not just talking out of his ass; he’s “reached out to a couple of doctor friends” about it.  Doctors who, like you and I, know nothing about this new and fast-spreading virus.

But maybe my favorite part is when he asks if there’s immunity after recovering from the virus “assuming you make it through.” Because if first responders don’t make it through once we have lab rat infected them, who cares. It would be just one of many, right?

Did Arriola not run his thoughts by even one person before saying them to a room full of people, on camera no less?  If he told anyone what he was going to say and they didn’t try to stop him from saying it, then they’re bad friends.

Or maybe they just wanted to watch.

Miami New Times spoke to Arriola on the phone following the debacle, and he didn’t seem to see anything wrong with the stupidity he let slip from his mouth.

He told the New Times:

“It was a question — let’s put it that way. I’m trying to be forward-looking and ask tough questions because if you don’t and this thing catches you by surprise, society could shut down.

What are we gonna do in the event that our first responders start getting either exposure to the virus or catch the virus and we lose 25%, 50% of our first responders? If we’re in a state of curfew or martial law and we have 50% of our first responders, what do we do?”

Well here’s what you don’t do: purposely infect the other 50%.

This is why the meeting occurred in the first place, to find viable options and procedures for how to handle things in the event of mass exposure to our first responders, the government, the public. 

That’s what their job is- find ways to make sure society can still function at least at the minimal level in case something like this happens. To minimize the amount of people sick or dying.

Not to infect them just to see what happens.

To his credit, at least the idiot said he would also volunteer to be infected with the virus. So there’s that.

Sure, Commissioner.  But you go first.

 

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