Governor's gaffe directs meningitis hotline callers to phone-sex service

Citizens of Florida who fear they may have contracted a deadly strain of meningitis found themselves telephoning a sexually explicit adult chat-line yesterday, after the State's Governor, Rick Scott, misread a phone number set up by Department of Health to deal with the outbreak.

Callers hoping for urgent advice about the disease, which has so far killed 12 people, and left more than 130 in hospital, instead found themselves listening to a recording of a husky-voiced woman.

She said: "Hello boys! Thank you for calling me on my anniversary!" then proceeded to ask for their credit card details.

The mix-up came after Mr Scott, a Republican, attempted to publicise the US Govern–ment's meningitis hotline at a public meeting. He appears to have mis-read one of the free-phone number's 10 digits. A radio station then posted the wrong number on its website.

The Governor apologised for the "inadvertent" mistake.

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