After the overwhelming negative response to his comments, President Donald Trump backed out on his suggestion that scientists could test whether disinfectants, such as common cleaning supplies, could be injected inside the human body to fight COVID-19 (coronavirus). He later claimed on Friday, that he had said it sarcastically.
What We Know:
- Trump’s confounding comment came immediately after William N. Bryan, the acting undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, gave a presentation on the potential impact of summer heat and humidity, which also included references to tests that showed the effectiveness of different types of disinfectants.
- “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. The president offered his idea for a cure in the White House briefing room Thursday after a presentation mentioned disinfectants success in killing the novel coronavirus.
Please do not ingest or inject disinfectant.
I feel like one should not have to say this. https://t.co/fqh62F8XGw
— John Shields, MD, FAAOS (@jointdocShields) April 24, 2020
- The question, which Trump offered unprompted, immediately spurred doctors, lawmakers, and the makers of Lysol to respond with incredulity and warnings against injecting or otherwise ingesting disinfectants, which are highly toxic.
- In a statement Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not say the president had been joking, but rather she defended that Trump had said Americans should consult with their doctors about treatment. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams also reiterated the same advice Friday morning.
Trump has previously stated that warmer weather will help fight the coronavirus outbreak without resorting to measures that carry significant economic ramifications. The study Bryan presented Thursday appeared to support those claims to some degree, although its results have not been peer-reviewed as of late.