First he held a superspreader event. Then he recommended fake cures.
In late January, tech impresario Peter Diamandis hosted an exclusive, indoor conference for a group of ultra-wealthy patrons in Los Angeles. As MIT Technology Review reported last month, the get-together, where no masks were required, became a covid-19 superspreader event.
Four days later, as staff, speakers, and attendees began testing positive for the virus, an email went out to those who had taken part. It invited them to join an “informational webinar” featuring a doctor who had been at the event—an attempt to put their minds at ease.
Diamandis had held the Abundance 360 Summit, or A360, in violation of a ban on private gatherings during a covid surge. At least 86 people were present, some having flown in from around the world; many had paid $30,000 in assorted fees for the privilege of attending in person. Everyone was tested daily, but the virus took hold nonetheless, and at least 32 people contracted covid either directly or indirectly as a result of the four-day program.
The webinar on January 30 featured Matt Cook, a trained anesthesiologist from the San Francisco Bay Area who had started a medical practice using alternative therapies. A follow-up email sharing the URL to view a recording of the call was accompanied by an order form for products from Fountain Life, a company focused on longevity treatments, of which Diamandis is a cofounder and director.
Between the webinar and the Fountain Life order form, attendees were told about a range of products that were claimed to either treat covid-19 or prevent it outright. What they were not told was that seven of the recommended products were also classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as “covid-19 fraudulent.”
The fraudulent cures included amniotic fluid, the liquid that surrounds a baby in utero and is rich in stem cells, and colloidal silver, a suspension of metal particles often touted as having antimicrobial effects, but which the FDA has said “is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.” Cook recommended taking both of them as an inhaled mist using a nebulizer, an electric machine similar to an asthma inhaler.