The governor of Nairobi, Kenya was blasted on social media after announcing his plans to include “small bottles of Hennessy” in food packs being distributed to the city’s poor families amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Mike Sonko presented the plans during a Tuesday media briefing.
“From the research which has been conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and various health organizations, it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus,” Sonko said in a clip, tweeted by Citizen TV Kenya.
Commenters were quick to blast the governor for his irresponsible statement.
“Is he serious?” one wrote. “I can’t believe it, I still have to replay that video for the 10th time, did he say Hennessy kills COVID-19 if you drink?”
Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the global CEO of Amref Health Africa, condemned Sonko in a tweet.
“Please completely ignore clowning of a major global pandemic taking lives & putting extreme pressure on households,” he wrote. “Dump this the way you would dump your used #COVID19 #mask — never to be recovered! @MOH_Kenya needs to condemn this as this is not an ordinary citizen!”
Please completely ignore clowning 🤡 of a major global pandemic taking lives & putting extreme pressure on households. Dump this the way you would dump your used #COVID19 #mask – never to be recovered! @MOH_Kenya needs to condemn this as this is not an ordinary citizen! pic.twitter.com/6Lsu0DXvzV
— Dr Githinji Gitahi, MBS (@daktari1) April 15, 2020
The World Health Organization has said that drinking alcohol does not protect against the coronavirus — and that frequent or excessive alcohol use can even increase the risk of health problems.
When it comes to hand hygiene, the CDC recommends alcohol-based sanitizers with greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol in healthcare settings.
But “The cognac Gov. Sonko has referenced only has 40% vol. alcohol,” BBC Africa reporter Wanjiru Muriuki tweeted. “So even if you were to use it as a hand sanitizer, it would not be effective.”
Sonko has previously been accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, which he denies, according to the BBC.
Prison authorities also claim that he escaped from a maximum facility 20 years ago.