Florida official recommends blow dryer at your face to combat coronavirus; don’t do that
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, licensed Ranveig

To be clear, health officials do not support this junk preventative method.

An Okeechobee County Commissioner offered some controversial and now-debunked advice to people worried about contracting the novel coronavirus: Kill it with a blow dryer.

Commissioner Bryant Culpepper explained the junk remedy he learned from the One America News Network claiming the coronavirus cannot live at temperatures greater than 136 degrees.

“I said how would you get the temperature up to 136 degrees? The answer was you use a blow dryer. You hold a blow dryer up to your face and you inhale through your nose and it kills all the viruses in your nose,” Bryant said during a March 20 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commissioners, according to Lake Okeechobee News.

To be clear, health officials do not support this preventative method.

Worse, they caution applying heat from a blow dryer to the face could cause skin, eye, nose and mouth irritation.

The World Health Organization website notes that hair dryers are not effective in killing the COVID-19 virus. While the websites “mythbusters” tab does not directly mention aiming a hair dryer at the nose to thwart the virus, it does list hot baths and hand dryers as ineffective methods of killing the virus and notes that the most effective way to stay safe is to regularly wash hands and avoid contact with others who are potentially infected.

Pish posh, says Culpepper.

“One of the things that was pointed out in this interview with one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus said that the nasal passages and the nasal membranes are the coolest part of the body. That’s why the virus tends to go there until it then becomes healthy enough to go into the lungs,” Culpepper said of the home remedy that’s been widely debunked.

The video Culpepper referenced was shared widely on Facebook and appears to have been removed, likely because of its shoddy science. The video was also removed from YouTube.

Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the New York Times there is some research indicating that warming the nasal passage could help combat a virus, other remedies “like sitting over a bowl of hot soup” are a better idea than blasting hot air in your face.

The proposed bunk remedy was shared so widely, the fact checking organization Snopes even tackled it, rating the claim false.

Culpepper’s public sharing of debunked medical advice is nothing new, but it’s indicative of the mass hysteria surrounding a global pandemic as individuals seek any precaution they can find.

But as the infection rate in Florida has now reached 763, health officials continue to offer the same advice — wash hands, stay home when possible, avoid traveling to areas with high infection rates and if sick, avoid contact with other people.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


  • Thomas Knapp

    March 22, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Aw we all know better than that. The way to keep coronavirus away is to build a fort in your living room out of toilet paper rolls.

  • Larry Gillis

    March 22, 2020 at 10:49 am

    The author of this story has now successfully “outted” one dumb politician for one dumb remark.

    Congratulations. You now have one shriveled scalp to put on your resume, as you claw your way up the journalistic ladder. I see a great future for you as a Paparazza Of The Written Word. We can all say we knew you when.

    • Luis

      March 22, 2020 at 11:31 am

      You gotta stop idiots from spewing their BS on to the masses somehow.

      • Thomas Knapp

        March 22, 2020 at 11:57 am

        Well, yes, you do, if you want to live in Pyongyang. If you want to live in America, not so much.

  • Sonja Emily Fitch

    March 23, 2020 at 7:26 am

    stay in place til may 1…save florida citizens.

  • A

    March 23, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Right, y’all, because as we all know, we must only and exclusively listen to ever present brainwashing from on high. Don’t worry, they’ll repeat their instructions endlessly. We must not think for ourselves! Anything new that comes our way must be discarded immediately! Ok ready? Blinders on!

Comments are closed.


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