(KXAN) — Despite the proven efficacy and safety of the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S., one anti-vaccine leader is urging his followers to treat the disease with their own urine. It’s among the latest in “alternative” treatments touted by anti-vaccine advocates during the pandemic.
Christopher Key, known as the “Vaccine Police,” pitched the unsupported claim over the weekend on his Telegram account, the Daily Beast reported.
Key, who was recently released from jail, told followers of his group, “The antidote that we have seen now, and we have tons and tons of research, is urine therapy. OK, and I know to a lot of you this sounds crazy, but guys, God’s given us everything we need.”
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Key, who was arrested Jan. 5 over a trespassing charge at a Whole Foods Market last year, previously made headlines for claiming he planned to perform a citizen’s arrest of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, whom he claimed was forcing child vaccinations. The Alabama resident has also called for the execution of pharmacists who administer vaccines and called vaccinations a “crime against humanity.”
Key told the Daily Beast he believes in “urine therapy.” Also known as “urotherapy,” the alternative medicine practice of ingesting or applying one’s own urine is currently unproven to have medical benefits.
The consumption of urine, known as urophagia or urine therapy, has been practiced by some for centuries, though benefits have not been scientifically proven. Over the years, there have been many disproven or unfounded claims about ingesting urine, including reports it can stop cancer growth — of which the American Cancer Society has no scientific evidence.
"There are no health benefits to drinking your own urine, and in fact, I think it could be quite detrimental. Each time you put it back, it will come out again even more concentrated, and that is not good for health as it could damage the gut," Helen Andrews, of the British Dietetic Association, told The Independent. "If you are stranded, your body will try to conserve as much water as it can. Drinking your urine would be like drinking seawater." Except, you know, less tasty.
While some populations in Asian countries practice urine therapy as part of traditional medicines, officials, including those in Thailand, still say there's no evidence through papers or clinical trials proving efficacy.
Conspiracy theories and unproven/disproven treatments for COVID-19 have proliferated since the pandemic's beginning, including the dewormer ivermectin and, recently, the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges and reminds Americans that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer (now fully FDA-approved), Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are safe and effective. Booster shots are also available for most Americans.
While vaccines do not ensure you won’t become infected with COVID-19, they have significant real-world data confirming they prevent severe illness and hospitalization.