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-CortezOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate Biden distances himself from Green New Deal during town hall Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts 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 John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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 DeSantisTrump jokes he'll 'find a way' to fire Gov. DeSantis if he loses Florida Exclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden hit campaign trail in Florida 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.