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Restaurant accused of pushing bogus COVID-19 cures, Penn. AG investigating

The owner’s daughter allegedly used the restaurant’s Facebook page to push ivermectin and hydroxychlorquine to treat COVID-19.
/ Source: NBC News

A Pennsylvania restaurant is under investigation after local law enforcement received numerous complaints that the owner’s daughter was using its Facebook page to push bogus COVID-19 cures.

The reports that Christine Mason was allegedly misusing the page belonging to the Taste of Sicily restaurant was referred to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, Palmyra Police Chief Andrew Winters confirmed Wednesday.

“Police indicated they received complaints, and a preliminary investigation showed allegations of misconduct which potentially spanned multiple counties,” Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graff said in a written statement obtained earlier by NBC News.

There was no response from the attorney general’s office.

Taste of Sicily in Palmyra, Pa.
Taste of Sicily in Palmyra, Pa.Google Maps

In a video posted on Jan. 26, Mason could be seen telling viewers to “read between the lines” and that she has “life-saving information” for people contending with what she called the “C-word.”

“If you guys know anybody who is sick and who needs ‘I’ or ‘H’ ... we now have a resource,” Mason said. “This place is shipping it for free.”

Based on the remarks of people who interacted with Mason on social media, these appeared to be references to the horse de-wormer ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, neither of which have gotten government approval for treating COVID-19.


Mason said the drugs were being provided by a surgeon in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, whom she said she wouldn’t name.

When NBC News called the restaurant in Palmyra, about 20 miles east of Harrisburg, and asked to speak with either Mason or her lawyer, the woman who answered the phone declined to identify herself or provide the name of her attorney.

“You’re going to have to do your own research,” she said.

But Taste of Sicily, which according to various news accounts is owned by Mason’s mother, Silvana Drill, and operated by manager Mike Magano, has previously gotten attention for defying the Covid-19 restrictions that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf put into place at the start of the pandemic in 2020.

And in an interview this week with a local TV channel, FOX43, Drill said that Mason had not worked at the restaurant since last summer but that she runs and regularly posts on the Taste of Sicily Facebook page.

On Wednesday, Mason posted on the page that she was moving to another site that’s popular with Trump supporters, right-wingers and vaccine opponents “so I will no longer be censored.”

Also, Mason appears on a TikTok video posted on Jan. 12 with a man who refers to her as “my wife” and who says he caught COVID-19 “but thank God my wife got me ivermectin.”

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.