Wineke: Use Mouthwash to Treat Covid, Die With Good Breath

Senator Ron Johnson
Senator Ron Johnson at Fort McCoy on August 25, 2021 (WISC-TV/

Senator Ron Johnson now recommends people use mouthwash to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Do you think our senior senator might be sending out whacky ideas as a call for help?

During a virtual town hall meeting Wednesday, Johnson, who keeps espousing treatments for the virus that medical science has rejected, said he had read that “using standard gargles, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the virus” and that if infected people do so they may diminish “viral replication.”

I suppose, technically, he has a point. Many kinds of mouthwash contain alcohol and alcohol will kill the Covid-19 virus.

But it’s pretty hard to swish mouthwash around in your nose and not a good idea to get it in your lungs. And if you already have covid it doesn’t seem at all like a good idea to get close enough to other people so they can smell your breath.

But Johnson is nothing but persistent. There are few bizarre treatments for the deadly virus that he won’t endorse, though he does seem reluctant to praise the vaccines that do help people avoid hospitalization or death.

There was a time when I thought Johnson was an embarrassment to Wisconsin.

But that’s really being too harsh. He’s actually kind of a representative of a certain portion of the state’s ruling class.

We have Michael Gableman threatening to jail Madison’s mayor and the legislature doing everything it can to limit the governor’s ability to help limit the replication of the virus.

We have Assembly Speaker Robin Vos bragging about being invited to ride on former President Trump’s “private plane,” after which he started endorsing every-zanier conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

So I think those of us – me especially – who have spent our lives just assuming our state should be known for clean government ought to become more modest.

Our assurance rested mostly on the legacy of Fighting Bob LaFollette and his political heirs. We forget that Fighting Bob created his legacy by challenging the nutty politicians who brought Wisconsin into disrepute in the first place.

We seem to be reverting to norm, and I hope we stop.