Veteran American televangelist Pat Robertson has warned television viewers that they could “catch AIDS” from towels in Africa.
The 84-year-old, who is notorious for his anti-gay views, made the comment during an appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club programme on Thursday.
An anonymous viewer wrote in to the programme asking if it was safe to travel to Kenya on a Christian mission trip in light of the Ebola outbreak in three West Africa countries.
Robertson dismissed his or her concern, rightly confirming that Ebola is not of serious concern in Kenya. He then offered an astonishingly ignorant piece of advice.
“You might get AIDS in Kenya, people have AIDS, you’ve got to be careful,” he explained.
He then added: “I mean, the towels could have AIDS.”
Robertson has a long history of making homophobic and hateful comments against the LGBT community, many of which have been equally ignorant.
He once claimed that gay men in San Francisco use a special ring to cut people while shaking hand to infect them with HIV.
Robertson has also stated that homosexuality is satanic and is “related to demonic possession” and claimed that gay marriages “don’t ‘bring forth anything except disease and suffering.”
According to America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV cannot be transmitted “from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, cigarettes, pets, or insects” (and presumably towels).