Yesterday, President Trump from the White House press room and, while the cameras were rolled, asked his science advisers to test whether they could treat coronavirus patients by injecting ultraviolet light or disinfectant into human bodies. Today, he explained to reporters that he was sarcastic, “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you,” he said, “just to see what would happen.”
Trump was not addressing reporters when he said this. He was turning to the side and addressing his mortified science adviser, said Dr. Deborah Birx. And he was not smiling:
“It is unfortunate that I have to comment on this, but people should under no circumstances ingest or inject bleach or disinfectant. Rest assured when we eventually find a treatment for or vaccine against COVID-19, it will not be in the cleaning supplies aisle.”American Medical Association President Patrice Harris said in a statement.
Trump said on Thursday, “that scientists should explore whether inserting ultraviolet light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the coronavirus might help them clear the disease.”
“Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?” Trump asked. “It would be interesting to check that.”
Trump also has promoted an anti-malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 even though its effectiveness is unproven and there are concerns about heart issues. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients outside of hospitals and clinical trials, citing risks of serious heart rhythm problems.
Reckitt Benckiser , a British company that manufactures the household disinfectants Dettol and Lysol, issued a statement warning people not to ingest or inject its products.
The American Cleaning Institute, representing the U.S. cleaning products industry, said in a statement, “Disinfectants are meant to kill germs or viruses on hard surfaces. Under no circumstances should they ever be used on one’s skin, ingested or injected internally.