According to a review by American Ledger, Republican Governor Mike Parson released a campaign ad featuring an executive for a multi-level marketing company that was rebuked by the Federal Trade Commission for unlawfully advertising fake products that claimed to cure COVID-19.

The ad features Christy Shawan, a Regional Vice President at Arbonne International, a multi-level marketing firm that touts beauty and wellness. In April 2020, Arbonne International received a warning letter from the Federal Trade Commission for “unlawfully advertis[ing] that certain products treat or prevent coronavirus disease.” Shawan appeared in the Parson ad in September, a few months after Arbonne was ordered by the federal government to stop hawking unproven, unscientific treatments for COVID-19.

The Parson campaign used the testimony of a hospital executive without mentioning her position with a company in hot water over advertising fake coronavirus cures, to bolster the Governor’s argument for reelection in November.

Gov. Parson has been widely criticized for his poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis, including strong backlash to comments made in July when he pushed schools to reopen, stating in reference to Missouri students: “And if they do get COVID-19, which they will… they’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.” To date, 105,396 COVID-19 cases, including 1,732 deaths, have been reported in the state of Missouri.

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