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Trump CDC director hired by Big Ass Fans, a company that claims to have COVID-killing tech

The Honorable Robert Redfield, M.D.

A former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director is joining the team at Big Ass Fans, a company that claims to have a COVID-19-killing technology that some experts warn has not been sufficiently tested.

Robert Redfield, who led the CDC under former President Donald Trump, will be joining the company as a strategic health and safety adviser, the Kentucky-based fan company announced on Monday.

“Proper ventilation has a major role to play in mitigating transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens,” Redfield said in a statement. “Big Ass Fans is a leader in designing airflow systems and making places where we live, work, and play, safer.”

Big Ass Fans says it uses a Clean Air System, which it claims kills “99.9% of sars-cov-2 and other airborne pathogens” by using, among other things, “ionization” technology.

But experts say this strategy hasn’t been tested enough in real-world conditions.

The Environmental Protection Agency calls bipolar ionization “an emerging technology,” adding that “little research is available that evaluates it outside of lab conditions. As typical of newer technologies, the evidence for safety and effectiveness is less documented than for more established ones, such as filtration.”

“There’s no other way to say it — it’s completely unproven whether these devices would work in a real-world setting,” Dr. Timothy Bertram, a chemistry professor who studies aerosol particles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the Daily Beast.

The hiring of Redfield follows that of Dr. Deborah Birx, who last month joined ActivePure, a company that also advertises products that can reportedly kill the strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The technology is “proven effective against a broad range of bacteria, molds, and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19,” the company claims.

“I’d much rather see good data transparently released than listen to Deborah Birx talk about how good this technology is when I know she isn’t an expert on air disinfection,” Dr. William Bahnfleth, an architectural engineering professor at Pennsylvania State University who studies indoor air quality and is the leader of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Epidemic Task Force, told the Daily Beast.

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