Fact check: Ahmed Assid makes false claims about coronavirus, misleads Moroccans

Fact check: Ahmed Assid makes false claims about coronavirus, misleads Moroccans

Amazigh activist Ahmed Assid.
Amazigh activist Ahmed Assid.

Editor’s Note: We would like to inform our readers that following the running of this story on our Facebook page, some of Mr. Assid’s fans and supporters reported us to Facebook, which led to the stopping of our story for more than 12 hours, pending the completion of an investigation. Facebook has checked the case this afternoon and gave us justice. We would like to seize this opportunity to inform our readers that we are not defending anyone, and we are not standing by anybody’s side. Our aim is to share the scientific truth on the matter, nothing more, nothing less.

Frankfurt, Germany (TMT)- Ahmed Assid made false statements, ones containing dangerous factual errors regarding the coronavirus.

German scientists have contradicted Assid’s comments where he stated recently that doctors “are saying that if the throat remains dry, this constitutes a danger for one’s health, as the virus will easily spread to the respiratory system, rather than go to the digestive system. This is why the throat needs to stay hydrated, drinking liquids, and warm fluids every hour, or half an hour.”

Leading German news outlet Der Spiegel has debunked the claims, running an article about it where it referred to the aforementioned claims as “nonsense,” further stressing that such “dubious health information is actually dangerous.”

“This cannot be prevented by drinking water. If the virus has made it into your mouth, it is too late,” the article states.

The head of Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s federal government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention also labeled it as “wrong information,” in a press conference among many other sources that have referred to it as “wrong.”

Acting in good faith, The Moroccan Times contacted three days ago Ahmed Assid, through his Facebook page, to inform him that his claims were factually wrong, sharing with him 2 links (Der Spiegel and Correctiv.org) to prove that. He saw our message, but neither did he reply, nor did he share a correction with his readers.

After waiting three days, and with an aim to help people spread the right information and debunk the wrong one, we decided to run this article today.

It is worth reminding that Ahmed Assid triggered a wave of controversy recently in Morocco after suggesting that fasting during Ramadan can worsen the health of people infected with COVID-19, backing up his arguments with the aforementioned factual errors.

The Moroccan Times.