Trump suggests injecting disinfectant
President Trump has been slammed by the medical community after suggesting research into whether Covid-19 might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body. He has been accused of spreading dangerous disinformation to Americans.
The president of the United States also proposed using UV light on patients bodies. But his idea was dismissed by a doctor at the briefing.
One of his officials had moments earlier said sunlight and disinfectant were known to kill the infection.
Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested. They can also be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system through external exposure.
What Trump said
Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing saw an official present the results of the US government research that indicated coronavirus appeared to weaken quicker when exposed to sunlight and heat.
The study showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even quicker.
The official who outlined the findings at the news conference noted the research should be treated with caution. And Trump suggested further research in that area.
“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous – whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” the president said, turning to Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, “and I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it.
“And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside of the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting,” Trump continued.
“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?
“So it’d be interesting to check that.”
Pointing to his head, Trump added: “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.
He then turned back to Dr Brix to ask if she had ever heard of using “the heat and the light” to treat coronavirus.
“Not as a treatment,” said Dr Brix. “I mean, certainly, fever is a good thing, when you have a fever it helps your body respond. But I’ve not seen heat or light.”
“I think it’s a great thing to look at,” Trump said.
Doctors were quick to warn the president’s idea could have fatal results.
Pulmonologist Dr Vin Gupta told NBC News: “This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous.
“It’s a common method that people utilise when they want to kill themselves.”
Kashif Mahmood, a doctor in Charleston, West Virginia, tweeted: “As a physician, I can’t recommend injecting disinfectant into the lungs or using UV radiation inside the body to treat Covid-19.
“Don’t take medical advice from Trump.”
— Mitla96 (@Mitla96) April 23, 2020
Trump’s rival Joe Biden – who will challenge him for the November White House election – tweeted: “UV light? Injecting disinfectant? Here’s an idea, Mr President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals.”
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