• California doctor claimed to have a “miracle cure” for COVID-19.
  • Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley is charged with mail fraud after admitting to illegally importing drugs from China and selling “treatment packs” to patients. 
  • There is no cure for the novel coronavirus, and while vaccines and treatments are in development, nothing has been approved or made available to the public.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

In the midst of a global health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all searching for answers. Listening to the advice of doctors would seem like a good idea, but some medical professionals, like Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley, are exploiting the situation for their own benefit. Staley is now facing federal charges after falsely claiming to have a “Miracle Cure” for COVID-19.

Staley peddled his “cure,” which he claimed was “100%” effective, out of the Skinny Beach Med Spa in San Diego. I’m no health expert, but looking for a cure for a viral pandemic in a place called the Skinny Beach Med Spa already sounds like a bad idea.

Agents with the FBI appear to agree with that sentiment and began investigating Staley’s claims. Undercover FBI Agents posed as interested customers inquiring about the so-called “COVID-19 treatment pack” which was priced at a whopping $3,995.

So what kind of COVID-19 protection does a person get for the price of a used car? “Access to Dr. Staley, the medications hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and ‘anti-anxiety treatments to help you avoid panic if needed and help you sleep,'” according to the Department of Justice report.

According to Staley, this combo will not only cure existing COVID-19 infections but also make a person immune “for at least 6 weeks” if you take it before contracting the virus. His claims are almost comical in nature, but he didn’t stop there.

“It’s preventative and curative. It’s hard to believe, it’s almost too good to be true. But it’s a remarkable clinical phenomenon.” Staley claimed, “I’ve never seen anything like this in medicine just so you know. Really, I can’t think of anything. That, you’ve got a disease that literally disappears in hours.”

He allegedly told the undercover agent that he was smuggling the drug hydroxychloroquine into the United States from China by mislabeling it as a sweet potato extract. The FBI did some digging and found that Staley was indeed scheduled to receive a shipment of “yam extract,” which the FBI is now planning to intercept.

Once the FBI revealed that it was investigating the doctor and his miracle spa, Staley changed his tune dramatically, telling agents that it “would be foolish” for anyone to claim that they have a cure for COVID-19. He denied ever making those statements, but the damage was already done.

Thus far, Staley has been charged with mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison as well as a fine. However, more charges may be on the way.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.