The federal government's top consumer agency has issued a warning letter to a San Francisco clinic over the way it marketed products for treating or preventing COVID-19.
On May 27, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent this letter to Revival Hydration, saying the company was "...unlawfully advertising that certain products or services treat or prevent" coronavirus.
Through its website, Revival Hydration offers vitamin-infused intravenous (IV) therapy drips, which it says can be used to treat hangovers, offer "jet lag resilience," and benefit "cold and flu recovery."
Concerning those claims, Revival Hydration does point out on its website that its services "have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration" and that they "are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." But the FTC says the company went too far when it recently added coronavirus to its sales pitch.
Among the posts on social media that the FTC said were problematic were these statements:
- "Keep Corona out with our Immunity treatment!"
- "Immunity strong, COVID out!"
- "Stop the #CoronaVirus and flatten the curve with Revival Hydration mobile IV Treatments!"
In its letter, the FTC noted that "For COVID-19, no such study is currently known to exist" and "...any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products or services are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence." It directed Revival Hydration to "...immediately cease making all such claims."
NBC Bay Area reviewed the Revival Hydration website and social media posts in the days after the FTC letter was made public, and we did not find any posts referring to coronavirus.
We repeatedly reached out to Revival Hydration to ask for comment, but it did not respond to us.
The FTC has repeatedly issued warnings and alerts about purported COVID-19 treatments, cures, and preventatives since the virus first began to spread. The agency has created this website to share all of its coronavirus resources. If you suspect a business is advertising a phony coronavirus cure, you can report it to the FTC here, and you can file a report with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration here.