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How snake oil got a bad name

By Caitjan Gainty, Senior Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, King's College London
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During the pandemic, the pejorative term “snake-oil salesman” has been bandied about a lot. It’s been used, perhaps with a tinge of 1980s nostalgia, to describe convicted fraudster and serial opportunist Jim Bakker, whose colloidal Silver Solution required only some deft rebranding to become a specific curative for COVID-19. For this, the televangelist found himself on the receiving end of multiple cease-and-desist letters, followed…

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