FACT CHECK: Did A Kansas City Hospital Say Drinking Alcohol May Reduce The Risk Of Contracting Coronavirus?
An image shared on Facebook more than 1,600 times allegedly shows a letter from Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, saying that alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
“Well ain’t that some good news,” reads the post.
The letter is fabricated. Alcohol does not reduce one’s risk of getting the new coronavirus.
Posts about supposed prevention methods have circulated widely on social media as the number of global coronavirus cases continues to rise. This particular post credits a Missouri hospital with saying alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of getting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“After extensive research, our findings show that consuming alcoholic beverages may help reduce the risk of infection by the novel coronavirus: COVID-19,” reads the letter. “Tequila is the most recommended for drinking, cleaning and sanitizing.”
There is, however, no record of Saint Luke’s Hospital issuing a press release or sending correspondence to this effect. A spokeswoman for the Missouri-based hospital system told the Daily Caller that the letter is fake.
“The information circulating is definitely a fake letter,” Lindsey Stich said in an email. “Vodka and tequila have no impact on the coronavirus.” (RELATED: Do Blood Donors Automatically Get Tested For Coronavirus?)
Indeed, a World Health Organization (WHO) infographic explicitly states that drinking alcohol does not prevent or protect people from the new coronavirus. At least 44 Iranians died from alcohol poisoning after consuming bootleg alcohol in an effort to treat the virus, according to USA Today.
The hospital also addressed the contents of the letter on Facebook, saying that they follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when it comes to mitigating transmission of COVID-19.
The CDC recommends frequent hand-washing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth and social distancing, among other measures. There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine available for the virus, according to the WHO.
A previous iteration of the letter recommended vodka for consumption and making hand sanitizer, according to Agence France-Presse.