Nairobi Gov. Mike Sonko is facing backlash after including alcohol in COVID-19 care packages.
Alongside traditional food staples, Gov. Sonko also sent a few small bottles of Hennessy.
“We will have some small bottles of Hennessy in the food packs that we will be giving to our people…” – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko
Note: WHO warns that drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous pic.twitter.com/vuSuVAb8dy
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 14, 2020
He rationalized the inclusion by saying the alcohol is a “throat sanitizer.”
“I think from the research conducted by the World Health Organization and various organizations, it has been believed that alcohol plays a major role in killing the coronavirus,” Sonko said in a video.
However, the WHO has said that alcohol isn’t a safeguard against coronavirus and actually recommends that people reduce drinking habits. The WHO explained that alcohol can hamper the immune system, making people more susceptible to catching the virus.
Sonko isn’t unfamiliar with controversy. Last year, the governor was arrested on corruption charges and was forced to abandon some of his responsibilities to the national government.
Hennessy has also rejected any of Sonko’s claims that alcohol can protect someone from getting the virus. “Hennessy would like to stress that the consumption of our brand or any other alcoholic beverage does not protect against the virus,” the company told Nairobi News.
However, alcohol sales in the U.S. spiked 55 percent at the end of March. While spirits were the most sought after, wine, and beer were a close second and third, respectively.
If you ask us, that’s called taking care of your people!