Florida Republican claims blowing dryer up one's nose KILLS coronavirus, apologizes after backlash

The statement was made by the commissioner of Okeechobee County Bryant Culpepper, who said he heard a doctor say this on TV

                            Florida Republican claims blowing dryer up one's nose KILLS coronavirus, apologizes after backlash
(Okeechobee Commissioner's Office)

A local politician in Florida has issued an apology days after he suggested that placing a blow dryer up one's nose cures them of coronavirus. The official, identified as Bryant Culpepper, the commissioner of Okeechobee County, shocked his colleagues during a meeting on March 20 after he brought up possible treatments for the deadly virus he claimed he saw on television.

The politician claimed that coronavirus could not live at temperatures greater than 136 degrees Fahrenheit, and hence he advised people infected with the virus to treat themselves by blowing hot air up their nose with a hairdryer. Culpepper claimed that a doctor, during an appearance on the One America New Network, had recommended this unfounded "treatment."

"I said how would you get the temperature up to 136 degrees? The answer was you use a blow dryer," he said. "You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale through your nose and it kills all the viruses in your nose," the official said. It is not yet clear which television interview he was referring to, the Daily Mail reported. 

"One of the things pointed out in this interview with one of the foremost doctors that have studied the coronavirus said that the nasal passages and the nasal membranes are the coolest part of the body," Culpepper said. "That’s why the virus tends to go there until it then becomes healthy enough to go into the lungs."

A member of the health care staff from the Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) prepares to test people for the coronavirus in the parking lot of its Doris Ison Health Center on March 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida (Getty Images)

Culpepper's theory was condemned by medical experts, who urged people to not use this method in an attempt to prevent COVID-19. 

Faheem Younus, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland, took to Twitter to debunk it as a false claim said: "False! Please Don’t. Our nose carries bacteria, as part of normal flora. Those bacteria may get confused."

The World Health Organization, last week, had also made it clear that the virus can be transmitted in hot climates.

After the commissioner's comments received widespread backlash, he took to Facebook, writing: "No one is holding a gun to your head to do anything you do not want to do but for some, they don’t have a lot of options. All this wonderful Science you believe in yet Thousands die every day from Cancer, Leukemia, ALS so why haven’t they been cured with all the Scientists working on for years. Go ahead and laugh all you want and feel like fools when I am proven right."

Culpepper, shortly after his online statement, however, issued an apology, saying he was just trying to "comfort" people in Okeechobee who do not have health insurance for treatment. "I am Heartfully Sorry for the comments I made on Social Media. I was only trying to give comfort to those in Okeechobee who have no insurance to treat their families," the commissioner said. "I will not offer any more suggestions unless they are tried and proven. I ask for All of your forgiveness for anything offensive that I uttered during these exchanges."

The US, as of March 24, has witnessed over 550 deaths because of coronavirus and has over 43,000 confirmed cases of the viral infection, with the numbers steadily increasing.

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