Retired NFL star-turned-Republican political candidate Herschel Walker made some unusual comments during a podcast appearance in the summer of 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines were available, about a "spray" or a "mist" to "kill" the virus that causes the disease.
"Do you know right now, I have something that can bring you into a building, that will clean you from COVID, as you walk through this, this dry mist?" Walker asked conservative commentator and author Glenn Beck in his appearance two years ago. "As you walk through the door, it will kill any COVID on your body. EPA-, FDA-approved."
Walker's comments, which he made in a YouTube video on Beck's page dated Aug. 15, 2020, were reported Wednesday by The Daily Beast.
"When you leave, that will kill the virus, as you leave this here product," Walker told Beck at the time. "Then, I have something — you can go and spray down this product. Do you know? They don't want to talk about that. They don't want to hear about that. And I'm serious."
There is no known mist or spray that can prevent COVID-19.
The virus spreads through tiny droplets and particles emitted from an infected person's breath that can then be ingested through the eyes, nose or mouth of someone in close contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A rep for Walker did not respond to PEOPLE's request for a comment about his past statements.
Walker, 59, announced his candidacy for the Senate in August of 2021. He's hoping to unseat Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, after winning his Republican primary.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Walker in September, calling him a "friend, a Patriot, and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States Senator."
Trump, Walker's most important backer in the race, famously pondered the use of injecting disinfectants to kill the COVID-19 virus in April of 2020.
"I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute," he said. "Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that."
The White House later said the comments were taken out of context and the president said he was being sarcastic. The makers of Lysol and other cleaning products quickly put out their warnings about the dangers of injecting bleach and other disinfectants.
Walker, an entrepreneur, is a legend in Georgia college football who went on to play for more than a decade in the NFL. When he launched his Senate campaign late last year he said, "I will stand up for conservative values and get our country moving in the right direction. It is time to have leaders in Washington who will fight to protect the American Dream for everybody."
"I'm a kid from a small town in Georgia who lived the American Dream," Walker said then, "and I'm ready to fight to keep that dream alive for you too."
He has also dealt with several personal controversies over the years.
In 2008, he wrote about having dissociative identity disorder, hoping to show a different portrayal of the condition. At the time, Walker's ex-wife, Cindy, said that he had violent episodes in their marriage, including holding a gun to her head — which CNN reported he did not deny, saying he had blackouts and memory loss and did not remember the episodes.
"I'm troubled by my actions and will always deeply regret any pain I've caused Cindy," he said then.