Moose tend to use hiking trails as shortcuts through dense brushy areas, and they leave heaps of scat—round, brown pellets the size of Hershey’s Kisses—right on the trail. The practice of eating the scat became a “thing” in the winter of 2020 with a number of hikers posting photos and video of themselves engaging in the act. “My daily multi-vite” one hiker stated on Twitter, “now I’m armored against Covid for the rest of the day!” Another hiker stated (in a caption below a Facebook photo of him with a piece of scat between his teeth), “Who needs vaccines? This here’s the real-deal organic solution!”
As evidence of the practice spread on social media, White Mountain National Forest staff and local healthcare workers became concerned. They turned to Dr. Fauci for help.
Fauci, during a recent interview with CNN, addressed the issue with some exasperation: “There is no scientific evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, that suggests eating moose scat (or any other kind of scat) will confer resistance to Covid-19. I don’t recommend it. Although it won’t kill you, it’s an unsanitary practice that could result in your being exposed to other pathogens. If nothing else, it’s certain to give you bad breath.”
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