One of the most painful truths laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic is the chasm between the wealthy and the poor in this country, and how in many cities, members of the latter group have disproportionately represented those afflicted by the virus. But the rich, of course, get COVID-19, too — they just have more resources to combat it. And one of the ways they do so is by renting a pulsed electromagnetic field machine to stimulate cellular self-healing, and then blogging about it.
Cristina Cuomo, wife of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (and sister-in-law to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo), is the founder and CEO of a wellness publication called The Purist. So it is not exactly surprising that, following her own COVID-19 diagnosis, she would blog about her family’s coronavirus health and wellness regimens, which are replete with wellness buzzwords such as Ayurvedic diets and oxygenation and cleansing shakes and body charger devices .
According to Cuomo’s post, she takes oxygenated herbs like Echinacea Osha and two “medicinal florals (xanthium and magnolia)” per day as well as antivirals and Sinex to fight her sinus headaches and difficulty breathing. Which, OK, so far pretty normal. She then proceeds to share that she enlists a New York City-doctor to administer at-home antiviral infusions at her Hamptons home:
She shows up in her full hazmat outfit and 3M mask. I got magnesium, NAC (a precursor to glutathione, said to be very helpful against COVID-19), vitamin C with lysine, proline, and B complex, folic acid, zinc, selenium, glutathione and caffeine (to combat the headache).
She also notes that she adds “½ cup of Clorox to my bathwater to combat the radiation and metals in my system and oxygenate it,” and that she uses a “body charger,” a device that purportedly sends electrical frequencies throughout her body, to “oxygenate my blood and stimulate the healthy production of blood cells to fortify my immune system.”
She also notes that she rented a PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) machine from a health store in Water Mill, which purportedly use electromagnetic fields to stimulate self-healing. (One study found that while PEMF “may offer some benefit in the treatment of delayed union and non‐union of long bone fractures, it is inconclusive and insufficient to inform current practice.”) She goes on to say that “for COVID-19, [PEMF] increases the speed with which your lungs and whole body can recover” and that it is “good to use for any ailment, at any time”; though many PEMF devices are approved by the FDA for use as general wellness products, they are not approved as medical devices.
It’s important to note that the Cuomos are in an undoubtedly frightening situation, especially since Cristina just revealed that her 14-year-old son Mario is also fighting the virus. And, in another context, Cuomo’s post would merely be silly internet marginalia, prime fodder for wellness industry detractors and sundry internet snarker types (basically, the same people who still thought it was fun to make Goop jade egg jokes after 2015).
But we’re no longer living in 2015. We’re living in 2020, during a time when nearly 50,000 Americans have died of the virus the Cuomos are currently fighting, many of whom are low-income service workers fighting for safer working conditions, very few of whom have access to Ayurvedic food, let alone PEMF machines. In this world, and in this context, Cristina Cuomo sharing her coronavirus wellness regimen isn’t so much funny as it does reflect a very specific lack of understanding of her and her family’s privilege, and how starkly it contrasts with the lives of most of the other people fighting this illness. It’s great that she can afford to have a doctor come to her home in a hazmat suit and 3M mask to administer a vitamin drip to help her fight her sinus infection. But considering that most healthcare workers less than 100 miles from the Cuomos’ Hamptons home show up to work every day without having access to either of those things, it’s safe to say that this missive should’ve been saved to her drafts.