Pat Robertson’s,700 Club’s host has one again walked into the eye of the storm by alleging that towels could pass on Aids infection in Kenya.
Evangelist Pat Robertson made his comment in response to an email message from an anonymous viewer who asked whether it is dangerous to visit Kenya during the Ebola outbreak.
Mr Robertson noted that there is currently no threat from Ebola in Kenya, but he added, “You might get Aids in Kenya. People have Aids. You’ve got to be careful. I mean, the towels could have Aids.”
The US government’s Office of Women’s Health says the virus that causes Aids cannot be spread through “sharing food utensils, towels and bedding, telephones, or toilet seats.”
The audience for Mr Robertson’s “700 Club” includes about one million viewers, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) which sponsors the daily show.
Mr Robertson, 84, remains an influential figure within conservative Christian circles in the United States.
He sought the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 1988 and finished second, ahead of the elder George Bush in the initial contest that year. Mr Robertson’s vote totals dwindled, however, as the Republican primary process continued.
On his Thursday show, Mr Robertson further cautioned about the risks of contracting diseases from mosquito bites in Africa.
“The sanitation isn’t what it ought to be,” he added. “You drink the water, it’s not sterilised, you can get intestinal bugs.”
The gaffe-prone preacher is famous for making controversial statements which have had great ramifications on international relations.
His remarks in 2005 urging America to “take out” Hugo Chavez, the erstwhile Venezuelan dictator, were taken to mean that he meant for Chavez to be assassinated.
In his defence, he said that his remark could have meant anything.
CBN has since edited out the remarks from the official video uploaded on their site but the clip remains available on the internet.
Pat Robertson has not yet responded to this latest remarks which will surely not go down well with his followers in Kenya where several local channels broadcast his programme.