Does an Air Purifier Used at the Site of Trump’s Phoenix Rally Kill ‘99.9 Percent of COVID’?
Leaders of Dream City Church, which hosted President Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, Arizona, released a video ahead of the event claiming that they’d installed an air purification system that “kills 99.9 percent of COVID in 10 minutes.” They assured rally attendees that “when you come into our auditorium, 99 percent of COVID is gone,” and promised “you can know when you come here that you’ll be safe and protected.”
The system is called CleanAir EXP, and its website claims it can clean the air of allergens, biological agents like bacteria and viruses, and chemicals. The product description on the site says that CleanAir EXP cleans the air by releasing oxygen ions into rooms through HVAC systems. The main page of the website bears a statement claiming, “Lab tests confirm that CleanAir EXP eliminates 99.9% of coronavirus surrogate from the air in less than 10 minutes.”
When contacted by The Dispatch Fact Check, epidemiologists Marc Lipsitch, director of Harvard’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, and Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said they had not heard of air ionization being explored as a way of cleansing coronavirus from the air. “Until they have subjected their findings to the rigors of clinical studies and peer review,” Offit cautioned, “they can’t reasonably claim anything.”