There’s currently no known cure for coronavirus, but that sure hasn’t stopped people from speculating—or from trying to make a quick buck. Online vendors like Amazon and eBay have already taken measures to halt price-gouging on items like hand sanitizer and protective masks, and sketchy vendors are hawking coronavirus protection kits that don’t do much by way of protection. But nobody deigned to suggest that crystals could be a solution to our pandemic woes… until now.
It’s not clear whether Spencer Pratt actually thinks the “healing power of crystals” can cure the coronavirus. It feels fair to assume that he does not—although, honestly, who knows? What we do know is that the image he reposted on Instagram (originally posted by meme account @tatumstrangely) implies that the crystals available on his website may be effective in combating the COV-19 pandemic. Which is, uh, patently false… first and foremost, because crystals don’t do anything.
The post is especially interesting, given the recent FDA and FTC crackdowns on “fraudulent COVID-19 products,” which both agencies announced on Monday. The agencies issued warning letters to seven companies peddling products like “teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver” claiming to cure coronavirus. “There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” FTC chairman Joe Simons said in a press release. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims.” Spokespeople for the agencies said in the same release they are ready to take more action when necessary, and that they will continue to monitor social media and online marketplaces for more false claims in the meantime.
“I have the friggin’ cure for Corona Virus [sic] right here bud,” Pratt says in the meme, wide-eyed in tie-dye with a crystal in hand. It’s funny, because crystal healing is funny. (Sorry!)
The idea that Pratt would wield crystals in the face of a global health crisis is… not totally unbelievable. Pratt is a notorious crystal aficionado—an “early adopter” of the trend who, according to British style and culture magazine DAZED, has profited handily from making gorgeous rocks a cornerstone of his brand.
Pratt also links to PrattDaddy.com in the meme’s caption, a not-so-subtle plug for his own crystal vending business. Pratt may very well be joking—he’s always had a sense of humor about his public persona—but one could easily argue that now is a particularly bad time for jokes, given the lack of certainty surrounding COVID-19 in general.
VICE reached out to Pratt Daddy (the company, that is) for comment and did not hear back as of this writing.
We did not reach out to Pratt for comment.
In the meantime, we suggest frequent hand-washing, avoiding large crowds, keeping hands away from your face, and staying far away from crystals.
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