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UPDATE: CleanAir EXP sent along this message:

[We] found our patented technology leads to a 99.9% elimination of airborne coronavirus surrogates. We do not, however, eliminate COVID-19 at this time… We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the CDC for additional laboratory testing and support the CDC’s guidelines on hygiene habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” — Tim Bender, CEO of CleanAir EXP

On Tuesday afternoon, Donald Trump, fresh off his victory against a glass of water, will be speaking at an event in Phoenix hosted at Dream City Church, a megachurch whose leaders insisted last week they didn’t know Trump would be attending when they rented out their facilities.

But in a Facebook video posted last night, Pastor Luke Barnett and CFO Brendon Zastrow insisted they weren’t worried about the spread of COVID inside the building because they recently installed air filters that kill 99.9% of COVID “through ionization”!

(Spoiler: No one knows what the hell they’re talking about.)

(Update: The Facebook video was removed, but a mirror is below.)

YouTube video

BARNETT: Hey, gang! We have some exciting information about what we’re doing to fight COVID-19 here at Dream City Church. We’re probably the first church in the nation to–

ZASTROW: Yeah, we’ve installed CleanAir EXP. We have a local Arizona company and was technology developed by some members of our church. And we’ve installed these units. And it kills 99.9% of COVID within 10 minutes… [according to] independent testing.

BARNETT: Yeah, it’s ionization, is that what it is?

ZASTROW: Ionizision [???] It’s ionizition [???] of the air. And it takes particulates [???] out and COVID cannot live in that environment.

BARNETT: So when you come into our auditorium, 99% of COVID is gone — killed! — if it was there in the first place. So you can know when you come here, you’ll be safe and protected. Thank god for great technology and thank god for being proactive.


BARNETT: Bless you guys.

I will bet anything that neither one of these guys can tell you what “ionization” means…

That said, the technology they’re referencing does indeed claim that it “eliminates 99.9% of coronavirus from the air in less than 10 minutes.” But good luck finding any verification of that.

Let’s suppose it’s true, though. It wouldn’t matter because COVID isn’t airborne. It spreads through our saliva, through coughing, through speaking or singing closely next to someone else — that’s why people have to wear masks. The particles aren’t just floating around in the air, waiting.

So even if “99.9% of coronavirus from the air” disappears, that won’t stop the virus from spreading when a bunch of conservative idiots without masks are all cheering in close proximity to one another.

Speaking of masks, here’s another potential hazard: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has not enforced any kind of face mask mandate. Which means thousands of people may be crammed into this church, without masks, partly because they believe they’re safe due to these ionizing filters that won’t stop COVID.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Side note: Remember Florida Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne? He was forced to shut down his church after his insurance company bailed on him for holding in-person services despite the pandemic. But before that happened, back in March, he said everyone in his church would be safe because he had installed “13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place” by neutralizing the molecules “in split seconds.”

He didn’t mention ClearAir EXP, but he was presumably talking about the same sort of technology. His insurance company didn’t seem to care.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.