LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man is accused of making a so-called cure for COVID-19 and other ailments with chlorine dioxide, a substance used in bleach, documents show.
Elias Beltran Suarez, 53, faces one charge of acting as a medical practitioner without a license.
According to his arrest report, police received a tip that Beltran was allegedly “manufacturing and selling a cure for COVID-19, autism and cancer” from his apartment.
The product, “Miracle Mineral Solution,” was being marketed as a “miracle cure,” but is believed to have contained unsafe levels of the chemical, which is commonly used in bleach, police said.
Police arrested Beltran at his apartment on Tara Avenue near Sahara Avenue and Valley View Boulevard on Monday afternoon, records showed. Beltran has no license to practice medicine in Nevada, police said.
When police searched his apartment, they found several five-gallon buckets filled with an unknown liquid. They also described finding pieces of equipment they described as a chemical lab.
According to his arrest report, a woman had recently contacted Beltran about her 6-year-old son who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Beltran offered to sell her his machine to make chlorine dioxide for $800, police said.
Beltran also told police he advertises on social media and believes chlorine dioxide to be a cure for COVID-19. He also said the machine he uses to create the mixture is the “same machine he uses to clean pools.”
A specialized LVMPD unit was called in to remove and chemical lab and test its contents.
Extremely small amounts of chlorine dioxide are used in water purification, but its use is not FDA approved and not advised.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase or drink a product sold online as a medical treatment due to a recent rise in reported health issues,” the FDA writes in a warning on its website. “Since 2010, the FDA has consumers about the dangers of Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, Water Purification Solution (WPS) and other similar products. Miracle Mineral Solution has not been approved by the FDA for any use, but these products continue to be promoted on social media as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions. However, the solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.
The FDA writes those who consume chlorine dioxide have reported severe diarrhea and vomiting.