Health official goes viral after licking finger during coronavirus briefing

A health official from Santa Clara County, Calif., has gone viral online after footage surfaced of her licking her finger shortly after advising the public not to touch their faces to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

In footage of the moment at a recent press conference, Sara Cody, who serves as the public health officer and director for Santa Clara County, could be seen telling the public at one point, “Start working on not touching your face, because one main way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.”

Then, at a later point during the briefing when Cody began stressing the importance of “enhance cleaning of surfaces,” the health official could be seen licking her finger to turn a page while at the podium.


An edited video of the moment juxtaposing her instruction and her finger licking has racked up more than 6.25 million views since it was posted on Twitter this week.

The Hill has reached out to Cody’s office for comment.

However, Cody is not the only public official to make the mistake of touching her face while advising the public to refrain from doing so in recent weeks. 

A video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMarjorie Taylor Greene may be 'dangerous,' but she's not the first Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat Islamic Jihad commander killed in airstrike, Israel says MORE similarly advising people against face-touching in remarks to reporters last week has also garnered nearly 136,000 views. A number social media users have noted how frequently the congresswoman touched her face throughout the clip.

President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE also recently claimed that he hadn’t touched his face “in weeks,” but has been called out on social media for doing so.

The occurrences have been so frequent recently that The Washington Post created a video of more lawmakers and officials, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPalm Beach prosecutor says DeSantis could delay hypothetical Trump extradition Republicans seize on conservative backlash against critical race theory Journalism dies in newsroom cultures where 'fairness is overrated' MORE (R); Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator; and Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), touching their faces while urging people not to.