The WHO Helped Spread Chinese Communist Lies About COVID-19. Now It's Lecturing People About Drinking During Quarantine.

The WHO arguably failed at its most basic mission of stopping the spread of a global pandemic, but it's still willing to hector people about their drinking habits.


For those stuck at home and possibly out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the option of having a cocktail or beer in the evening is one of the few things keeping them sane and indoors. It makes sense then that the World Health Organization (WHO) would want to restrict alcohol at this time.

Yesterday, the European branch of WHO argued that letting people drink in their own homes during quarantine was a grave public health threat.

"Alcohol is consumed in excessive quantities in the European Region, and leaves too many victims," said Carina Ferreira-Borges, the program manager for WHO Europe's Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Programme, in a press release. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behaviour on others, including violence."

The WHO press release goes on to argue that governments should resist their urges to loosen alcohol regulations during the pandemic, and should even consider "reinforcing" the rules already on the books.

"This needs to be complemented by communicating with the public about the risks of alcohol consumption, and maintaining and strengthening alcohol and drug services," says the WHO.

This is not the first time the organization has warned against drinking at home during the current pandemic. Another WHO Europe doctor called alcohol "an unhelpful coping mechanism" during a press conference in late March, reported the U.K.'s Independent.

That the WHO would choose now to lecture the world on its drinking reflects remarkable tone-deafness from an organization that has spent the better part of 2020 repeating the lies of China's communist government about the coronavirus and spreading misinformation about the efficacy of mask-wearing.

The public health arm of the United Nations is tasked in part with relaying accurate information about global pandemics and mitigating their spread. It failed on both counts when it comes to COVID-19, forming one link in a long chain of government failures that have resulted in most of the country sheltering in place for fear of coughing deadly pathogens on each other and killing grandma.

The WHO's public health officials are going to lecture us on drinking? Now?

This specific guidance is directed at E.U. residents, but people around the globe should be concerned about the international organization's warped priorities during this crisis. In addition to its utter inability to just read the room, the WHO's argument for restricting alcohol falls flat.

As Baylen Linnekin argued in Reason, there's no clear link between restricting alcohol sales and preventing the domestic violence the WHO is warning about. Places like Saudi Arabia and South Africa (which banned alcohol sales during the COVID-19 pandemic) both continue to have high rates of domestic and gender-based violence.

And while it's true that people abuse alcohol—and some will abuse it more during the current quarantine situation—there's a compelling public health reason for keeping the booze flowing: Drinking is fun.

People are being asked to sacrifice a lot during current coronavirus-induced shutdowns of public spaces. That includes whatever joy they got from going to the movies, restaurants, bars, concerts, and sporting events.

This social distancing is, of course, necessary in the short-term to slow the rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths. But if we want to ensure people stick to these social distancing measures and keep flattening the curve, we should make staying at home as enjoyable as possible. And you don't make social isolation more enjoyable by forcing people to watch Tiger King sober.

That the public health experts at the WHO don't grasp this isn't surprising, but it is infuriating.

President Donald Trump said in a press briefing yesterday that he intends to cut off U.S. funding to the WHO. That's a great idea—one Trump will hopefully follow through on.

In the interim, we should actively ignore the organization's teetotaling advice.

NEXT: After Pennsylvania Closed All Liquor Stores, Residents Crossed State Borders To Buy Booze. Now Ohio Is Shutting Down Out-of-State Sales.

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  1. Trump wants to cut off funding for WHO? I’ll drink to that!

    1. Who’s funding is getting cut first?

      1. Every dollar of it.

        1. Who’s not getting any dollars?

          1. Sometimes his wife comes down to collect it.

            1. Always good to see another Abbot & Costello fan.

          2. What’s not getting involved.

    2. +1000000

    3. This x1000. These people can be puritans if they’d like but I don’t see why I should have to fund them.

  2. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behaviour on others, including violence.”

    “Accordingly, we are calling on all governments to shut down the internet.”

    1. “Accordingly, we are calling on the internet to shut down all governments.”

      1. “Accordingly, we are calling on the shut down to govern the internet.”

    2. Don’t laugh. I am fully expecting to hear, any day now, that we are encouraging social media addiction by “allowing” people to engage in online virtual gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. They should try to enforce this in France. I want to see what it looks like when a WHO official gets burned at the stake.

    1. Hey WHO, can you comment on the health effects of being decapitated by a guillotine? Asking for a friend.

      1. Please, blink as many times as you can after we decapitate you. For science!

        -Dr. Gabriel Beaurieux

    2. I recall in a class I had at one time [long ago] that the French possess a unique variety of alcoholism; while they are usually not overtly drunk, they are never quite sober. Cutting off their ETOH supply will no doubt result in massive admissions for withdrawal.

      1. Quite literally, in many French households, wine is drunk at dinner by everyone, including the children. Now, I am sure that babies aren’t getting hammered too often, but an 11 year old? You bet.

    3. You think they’d be that nice about it?

  4. Tiger King is amazing. It is like a Documentary that meets Lost and then has an affair with Breaking Bad. Every character makes these amazing twists, except for the main guy. He is pretty much the exact crazy he seems to be at the very beginning. He just descends into deeper and deeper crazy deeds.

    1. Meh
      It was ok.
      The animal stuff is interesting.
      The lady definitely murdered her husband to steal his money, and her current husband is the perfect picture of a prog.
      But it’s too much white trash, too much stupid for me to really like it.
      Of course, I’ve never been one to enjoy watching shit like “Cops” either

      1. “Of course, I’ve never been one to enjoy watching shit like “Cops” either”

        So “whatcha gonna do,” highbrow?

    2. How did you like that the only sane person in the whole show announces that he is a libertarian?

      1. You mean his campaign manager?

      2. Maybe I’m misremembering, but aren’t there several libertarians on that show? Joe Exotic ran for governor as a libertarian, and one of the other zookeeper guys talked about your God-given right to disobey any law you feel is unjust, which is close enough for me.

        1. Joe Exotic’s big crime: trademark infringement. The judge gave him a $1 million judgment, which was way too high, and led to his downfall. That judge should fry.

  5. The WHO Helped Spread Chinese Communist Lies About COVID-19.

    It was that Happy Jack bastard, wasn’t it?

    1. i don’t want to cause no fuss but can i ride your magic bus?

    2. But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping

  6. //This social distancing is, of course, necessary in the short-term to slow the rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths.//

    Why are we so sure this is actually the case? And, second question: How many at Reason are obtuse enough to believe this shit is going to be temporary?

    1. Because South Dakota refused to follow social distancing guidelines, thinking they will be fine, and now 300 people in a pork processing plant there are sick with the coronavirus. And now we are gonna have a pork shortage.

      1. Pork is non-essential. Just ask the Muslims and Jews.

        Now what?

        1. That their God tells them that bacon is off limits tells me that their God is an asshole who doesn’t give a fuck about their happiness.

          1. Well, all Gods are opposed to fucking, so they are all assholes.

            1. Some pagan Gods are super down with all of that though, those ones are OK in my book. A lot of ancient Greek mythology can be explained with “this problem was caused by Zeus sticking his dick somewhere he shouldn’t have” and that’s a far more relatable problem than most religious writing.

          2. There you go; that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” is from no less an icon than Ben Franklin is good enough for me

      2. Also, Smithfield is a Chinese owned company, that sells pork almost exclusively to China.

        I guess the chinks will have to go back to eating all those pangolin dicks.

      3. Because South Dakota refused to follow social distancing guidelines
        a) The only thing South Dakota hasn’t done is implement a cower in place requirement.
        b) Food processing is ‘essential’ and wouldn’t have shut down absent an outbreak at a plant anyway
        c) Regardless of widespread government mandated cower in place, we’re all supposedly gonna get this long before a vaccine is ever (if ever) produced anyway.
        d) In light of C, those 300 were almost certainly gonna get it anyway and the overwhelming majority of them won’t need anything more than to go home and wait it out.
        e) In 2 to 4 weeks most of those 300 will be ready to go back to work presumably with some antibodies that will help keep them from being reinfected and spreading it again giving the plant a small amount of ‘herd immunity’ so it actually can resume operations and keep bellies full across the country.

        1. Honestly one of the bigger concerns from a disruption perspective is the long tail this has on recovery, my wife’s on week 4 and finally turning the corner in a significant way. I know people who it took 5-6 weeks to feel healthy.

          You can do a desk job, especially work from home, with the respiratory problems, not sure what that’s going to look like for people with blue collar jobs though, might sideline some for closer to a month.

  7. Wheres the Rev. To tell us all how our betters are only doing this for our sake, and once you clingers finally let go of your ideas about choice you’ll see how the world can be a utopia.

    1. Hopefully, on the precipice of blowing his own brains out.

      1. The world is too cruel for that.

  8. And while it’s true that people abuse alcohol—and some will abuse it more during the current quarantine situation—there’s a compelling public health reason for keeping the booze flowing: Drinking is fun.


    Or smoking weed in your home, for that matter. This quarantine shit is hard enough without official government moralizing.

    1. Government has to moralize because without an underlying moral justification for repressive encroachment government can no longer rely on the tacit support of wine moms and cat lady scolds – you know, the suburban white woman demographic. Without morality, it’s just a boot in your fucking face. Without selling Stockholm Syndrome, people may develop an uncomfortable tendency of resisting.

      If you can sell a labor camp to a mom, you can sell totalitarianism to the rest of society.

  9. “Drinking is fun”

    Well that’s your problem, for which the government has a solution. Or maybe “a plan for that”

  10. I remember when Europeans thought that Americans were soooo unsophisticated for *ever* having had Prohibition laws.

  11. I’d like better to understand the power struggles the WHO operates under. From what I can gather, their sin was fear of a China reprisal. Trump is just saying that they would have been better to fear US reprisal. Neither is good. The WHO certainly is a large bureaucracy, but it’s existence and US funding should be based on the overall good it does, and fix the problem with US, China or any other country’s influence that impact that good.

    1. What’s the libertarian argument for paying the WHO at all, regardless of how “good” they are?

      To the extent that our government needs to be worried about health, it needs to be worried about Americans’ health. The rest of the world can fuck off and bother their own governments, that $230m can be spent at home if it needs to get spent at all.

      1. This situation proves the falsity of your claim. International trade and travel mean that the health of other nations will inevitably impact the health of Americans.

        Now, I am not defending the current political entity that is the WHO, but in theory some implementation of the concept makes sense.

        1. This situation proves the falsity of your claim. International trade and travel mean that the health of other nations will inevitably impact the health of Americans.

          This is true, and yet it does not follow that we MUST have an international agency solely to provide this information.

          The WHO is flawed because there’s no way to create such a big bureaucratic institution that isn’t weighed down by its own bureaucracy. You could dismantle it and build a new agency from the ground up, supposedly the right way, and it would become a political mess within a decade as well.

          1. So what is your plan then for fighting global pandemics?

            There are a lot of impoverished nations out there who lack the resources for dealing with nasty diseases like Ebola. If there is an outbreak, wouldn’t it be better to stop it at the source, rather than see it spread? And if a nation’s government can’t afford to do that, who will do the work?

  12. WHO sounds both ignorant and arrogant. I did wonder at first why liquor stores were being called “essential” businesses, at least here in New York. But it does make sense that, if people can’t leave their homes except to buy food and drink, the “drink” should include the kind that will make their homebound stays a little more enjoyable. Maybe they should allow the sale of other drugs, like psychedelics, during the lockdown. If people can’t take physical trips, let them take mental ones.

    1. Not allow, require psychedelics!!

  13. The World Health Organization spends an inordinate amount of it’s time and resources nagging smokers and vapers, is it no fucking surprise that when a real crisis strikes, they botch it on so many levels? I say withdraw all funding until it reorganizes itself into strictly dealing with infectious diseases, NOT fucking with our pleasures.

    1. Mark if they had recommended all smokers cease smoking that at least would make sense since the virus effects your respiratory system, but drinking, my opinion is that the leading physician for the WHO is a component of a terminal viral pandemic plague known as islam and it is haram to imbibe liquor for those who embrace the islam ideology.

  14. Hey brainless WHO rep. drinking is not going to prevent you from contracting the Covid-19 virus, as I have repeatedly said you cannot place your faith in any organization with the words united or world in their title and those organizations should all be abolished.

  15. Prohibition 2.0 This time they will do it the right way…

  16. WHO is Always Do their Best dont know whats going on this world
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  17. Chinese Coronavirus Is a Man Made Virus According to Luc Montagnier the Man Who Discovered HIV.

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