Posted 23 June 2021
Mark Grenon says in interview from prison he gave Trump the product and was the source of Trump’s fixation with disinfectant
The leader of a spurious church which peddled industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for Covid-19 is claiming that he provided Donald Trump with the product in the White House shortly before the former president made his notorious remarks about using “disinfectant” to treat the disease.
Mark Grenon, the self-styled “archbishop” of the Genesis II “church”, has given an interview from his prison cell in Colombia as he awaits extradition to the US to face criminal charges that he fraudulently sold bleach as a Covid cure. In the 90-minute interview he effectively presents himself as the source of Trump’s fixation with the healing powers of disinfectant.
“We were able to give through a contact with Trump’s family – a family member – the bottles in my book,” Grenon says. “And he mentioned it on TV: ‘I found this disinfectant’.”
Grenon had previously revealed that he had written to Trump in the White House in the days leading up to the disinfectant episode, urging him to promote the healing powers of chlorine dioxide. But in the new interview Grenon goes considerably further, claiming that the bleach, which carries serious health warnings from federal agencies, was actually put into the hands of the then president who consumed it.
Trump’s comments about disinfectant, made at the White House on 23 April 2020 as coronavirus was tearing through the US, reverberated around the world. They caused astonishment in scientific circles, attracted widespread ridicule, and have come to symbolize the maverick response of the Trump administration towards the pandemic.
At the press conference Trump hailed disinfectant as a potential cure for Covid, saying it “knocks it out in a minute, one minute”. He went on to muse whether “we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning”.
Why Trump suddenly embraced bleach as a possible Covid treatment has remained one of the mysteries of his presidency. Now Grenon claims that it was his product, marketed as Miracle Mineral Solution or “MMS”, that lay behind it.
The Guardian asked Trump’s office to clarify whether he had received and drank “MMS” bleach while in the White House, but received no immediate response.
Grenon made his claim that he supplied Trump with bleach solution to Zakariya Adeel, a London-based astrologer and psychic. The interview was conducted apparently over a prison telephone line.
Grenon and his son Joseph are both being held in Colombia as they await extradition. In April a federal grand jury sitting in Miami indicted them, along with two other sons, Jonathan and Jordan who are also in jail in Miami.
The four Grenon family members face charges of fraudulently marketing and selling industrial bleach as a cure for Covid, cancer, malaria and a host of other serious medical conditions. A criminal trial is expected in Miami later this year.
The US Food and Drug Administration has made it clear that drinking MMS is the same as drinking bleach. It warns that consumption can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and low-blood pressure that can be life-threatening.
The FDA describes MMS as a “powerful bleach typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp and paper”.
In the video, Grenon repeats false claims that chlorine dioxide solution cures Covid. “We tried it with Covid – six drops every two hours for the first and second day. Boom! Gone, negative. You’re feeling great from feeling like you’re going to die – it works great,” he says.
Use of bleach as a miracle cure has proliferated across Latin America during the pandemic. Fiona O’Leary, a campaigner against pseudoscience, told the Guardian that MMS peddlers were using Trump’s comments on disinfectant as a marketing tool.
“You have the president of the United States telling people they can ingest bleach to treat Covid – so the response is hardly surprising. There’s been a dramatic increase in the use of the product in several Latin American countries after he made those comments,” she said.